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When was the Service Flag first flown? What does the blue or gold star signify? What do multiple stars signify?
How were WWI &II flags made?  How are yours made? Why only one star on the Service Lapel button?
Were these flown during Vietnam? Organizations are also authorized! Why now?
Would a flag I make for myself be unauthorized? Fading  


When was the Service flag first flown?  <back to top>

The Service flag was first displayed in the front windows of homes during World War I to signify a son or husband serving in the Armed Forces.  The flag quickly became known as the "son in service flag" with each blue star indicating one family member.  During World War II, the Department of War issued specifications on the manufacture of the flag as well as guidelines indicating when and by whom the Service flag could be flown or the Service Lapel button could be worn  (an example of the flag can be seen hanging in the window of Mrs. Ryan's house in the movie Saving Private Ryan).  Another great movie with the Service flag is the Majestic!

What does the blue or gold star signify?  <back to top>

 The blue star represents one family member serving in the Armed Forces.  The blue star is covered or replaced with a gold star to indicate that the family member was killed or died during the war or period of hostilities.  The blue star represents hope and pride, and the gold star represents sacrifice to the cause of liberty and freedom.

 

What do multiple stars signify?  <back to top>

Each blue star indicates one family member serving in the Armed Forces of the United States.  If multiple stars are shown, a gold star takes the place of honor nearest the staff

 

How were  World War I and World War II Service flags made?  <back to top>

During WWI and WWII, most flags were constructed using cotton fabric with the white field and blue stars sewn onto the red banner.  Many flags were also manufactured using felt, satin or silk.   The original samples we had two embroidered on wool felt.

How are yours made?  <back to top>

We chose to manufacture the Service flag according to DOD specifications using high quality wool/synthetic blended felt and other high quality materials to resist fading.     This manner of manufacture  allows for the smaller gold star to be placed on top of the blue star to create a blue border, as specified by DOD regulations.  The size of our flags are 8" wide X 15.2" long.    We also use wood end caps (not plastic).  With any fabric, sustained periods of direct sunlight will result in fading. 

Will there be any fading if I place mine in my window?  <back to top>

With any fabric, sustained periods of direct sunlight will result in fading.   We have found that the fade resistant fibers will last approximately 14 months when exposed to direct sunlight. 

 

Why only one star on the Service Lapel Pin (button)?  <back to top>

Department of Defense regulations specifically state that multiple stars are not authorized.  "The blue star of the Service lapel button worn by members of the immediate family shall signify that one or more Service members are serving in the Armed Forces of the United States ... Multiple blue stars are not authorized."

DOD regulations further state: "...A gold star in not authorized as part of the Service Lapel Button...", however,  the Service lapel button may be worn in conjunction with the Gold Star Lapel Button which is distributed to applicable family members if the member of the Armed Forces loses their life during an armed conflict.

 

Was the Service flag flown during Vietnam?  <back to top>

In 1966, the Department of Defense revised the regulations and the specification for the display of the Service flag.  Although some families did display the flag, we can only speculate that due to the open contempt that was publicly displayed during the Vietnam conflict, few families chose to display the Service flag, or even knew of its existence.  

 

Can I make my own flag? <back to top>

Yes! In fact, most flags made during WWI and WWII were made by the families with the relative serving in the Armed Forces.  Current DOD regulations only require that persons who manufacture and sell the Service flag obtain a certificate of authorization.   

Organizations may also display the Service flag!  <back to top>

The Service flag may be displayed by an organization to honor the members of that organization serving in the Armed Forces of the United States during any period of war or hostilities.  

Why display the flag now?  <back to top>

The Service flag is authorized for display by Americans to honor their family members who are serving in the Armed Forces of the United States during ANY period of war or hostilities.  It is not necessary for the Service member to be stationed overseas, or be present where hostilities are taking place.  All of the military service members contribute to the performance of our Armed forces regardless of where they are located, and they can also be called upon at any time to enter combat!  

Our Armed Forces continue to participate in activities to combat the War against Terrorism, and to police unrest throughout the world.

Keep America proud of our Armed Forces by participating in this custom to honor our servicemen and women and to recognize and acknowledge the risk their families face while their loved ones fight to protect our freedom and security!

Please join us in reviving this almost forgotten tradition by displaying the flag, wearing the button, or telling your friends that have family members serving in the Armed Forces.  

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