Flags in the Dust is a very interesting and engrossing read, and not very difficult like one of Faulkner's stream-of-consciousness novels. It is set in 1920 or perhaps 1925, with World War I being a recent memory to the characters. It is the first Faulkner novel I read; that was probably a mistake. The first book in the chronology of Faulkner's Sartoris family is The Unvanquished, which is set during and shortly after the Civil War; you might want to read that first (although if you don't, Flags in the Dust won't be incomprehensible). The "Old Bayard" depicted in Flags in the Dust" is shown as a teenager in The Unvanquished.