The Blood Flag was last seen on October 18, 1944, when Heinrich Himmler displayed it proudly as he commissioned the Volkssturm, the Nazi Party's new militia created to avert the certain defeat that awaited Germany. Hitler believed the Blood Flag, Blutfahne, carried sacred powers. It held the blood of the first Nazi martyrs, those killed in the Beer Hall Putsch in Munich in 1923, when Hitler first tried to take over Germany. Several Nazis were shot and fell onto the flag, pouring their blood into the already red fabric. That flag-with a white circle and a black swastika in the middle-still lives. Kyle Morrissey, a special agent for the FBI, travels to Europe with his father to see him receive the Legion of Honor from France for his service at Normandy. But after the ceremony, while traveling through Germany, Kyle and his family encounter neo-Nazis perpetuating the evil philosophy he thought his father's generation had ended once and for all. Kyle soon discovers that tens of thousands are ready to raise the swastika once more and renew the hatred of the thirties and forties. Baffled and furious, Kyle embarks on a personal mission to bring down the movement. But how? In trying to understand the history of Nazism, Kyle learns of the Blood Flag and knows it is the key to his success. From DC to Dresden to Recklinghausen and Argentina, the Blood Flag leads Kyle on a worldwide race in an attempt to end international Nazism for good.
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Defending a client accused of killing her father, attorney Paul Madriani is drawn into a treacherous conspiracy dating to World War II in this enthralling installment in the New York Times bestselling series. Paul Madriani and Harry Hinds have a new client: Emma Brauer, a woman accused in the “mercy killing” of her aged father, Robert Brauer. Insisting she’s innocent, Emma tells Paul about a package sent to her father shortly before he entered the hospital. Bequeathed to him by a member of his unit from World War II, the box contains a key and a slip of paper. Emma fears that this package is connected to her father’s death. When Paul’s young assistant Sofia is murdered, Madriani is blindsided by the realization that Emma’s fears are well-grounded. Digging into Robert’s military history, Madriani discovers that other members of the Army unit Robert served with have recently died—under similarly suspicious circumstances. When he finds that the box sent to Brauer relates to a mysterious talisman that went missing at the end of the war—a feared Nazi relic known as the “Blood Flag”—Madriani and Hinds realize they are in for the fight of their lives. With Emma’s life on the line and their own safety in jeopardy, Madriani must uncover the truth before the evil of the Blood Flag is allowed to spin a new web.
“Martini keeps getting better and better.” —Tennessean (Nashville) When Emma Brauer is blamed in the mercy killing of her aged father, Robert Brauer, Paul Madriani steps in to defend her. Insisting she’s innocent, Emma tells Madriani about a package sent to her father by a fellow World War II veteran, containing only a key and a slip of paper. Emma fears that it is connected to her father’s death and that his real killer is still out there… Driven by the belief that she’s innocent and might be right, Madriani digs into Robert Brauer’s military history. He discovers that other members of Robert’s army unit have also recently died—under suspicious circumstances. Madriani uncovers a trail leading to a mysterious talisman—a feared Nazi relic known as the Blood Flag. Soaked in the blood of a fallen Nazi follower, the flag was displayed by Hitler in ceremonies until it went missing at the end of the war, turning it into an historic prize. Racing to locate the artifact before it falls into the wrong hands, Madriani is in for the fight of his life.
As rancorous debates over Confederate symbols continue, Robert Bonner explores how the rebel flag gained its enormous power to inspire and repel. In the process, he shows how the Confederacy sustained itself for as long as it did by cultivating the allegiances of countless ordinary citizens. Bonner also comments more broadly on flag passions--those intense emotional reactions to waving pieces of cloth that inflame patriots to kill and die. Colors and Blood depicts a pervasive flag culture that set the emotional tone of the Civil War in the Union as well as the Confederacy. Northerners and southerners alike devoted incredible energy to flags, but the Confederate project was unique in creating a set of national symbols from scratch. In describing the activities of white southerners who designed, sewed, celebrated, sang about, and bled for their new country's most visible symbols, the book charts the emergence of Confederate nationalism. Theatrical flag performances that cast secession in a melodramatic mode both amplified and contained patriotic emotions, contributing to a flag-centered popular patriotism that motivated true believers to defy and sacrifice. This wartime flag culture nourished Confederate nationalism for four years, but flags' martial associations ultimately eclipsed their expression of political independence. After 1865, conquered banners evoked valor and heroism while obscuring the ideology of a slaveholders' rebellion, and white southerners recast the totems of Confederate nationalism as relics of the Lost Cause. At the heart of this story is the tremendous capacity of bloodshed to infuse symbols with emotional power. Confederate flag culture, black southerners' charged relationship to the Stars and Stripes, contemporary efforts to banish the Southern Cross, and arguments over burning the Star Spangled Banner have this in common: all demonstrate Americans' passionate relationship with symbols that have been imaginatively soaked in blood.