Service flag or service banner in theUnited States is an official banner that family members of service members can display. The flag or banner is defined as a white field with a red border, with a blue star for each family member serving in the Armed Forces of the United States during any period of war or hostilities in which the Armed Forces of the United States are engaged.
A gold star (with a blue edge) represents a family member that died during service, without specifying cause of death. The deceased might have been killed in action, or died due to unrelated causes.
The individuals entitled to display the service flag are clearly defined in 36 USC § 901 which reads:
“A service flag approved by the Secretary of Defense may be displayed in a window of the place of residence of individuals who are members of the immediate family of an individual serving in the Armed Forces of the United States during any period of war or hostilities in which the Armed Forces of the United States are engaged.”
The U.S. Code also discusses the wearing of lapel pins.
Silver Star Service Banner
The tradition of a service banner with a blue star covered with silver threads to represent wounded service personnel began in 1917or 1918 following the suggestion of Women’s Committee of the Council of National Defenses but faded from use sometime between World War I and World War II. When the use of Blue and Gold Star Service Banners was formally adopted into the United States Code and made official, the tradition of the Silver Star Banner was overlooked.
The Department of Defense, given the authority to govern the use of the service banners,concluded that existing Blue Star Service Banner or Gold Star Service Banners and Flags could not be altered. A new Silver Star Service Flag and Banner were designed and were quickly accepted widely used throughout the United States.
"Resolved, That the Senate designates May 1, 2010, as ‘Silver Star Service Banner Day’ and calls upon the people of the United States to observe the day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities."
Service banner history: there is also a "War Mothers" Flag that was first flown over the capitol on Veterans Day in 1926. This Flag is still flown every year on Veterans Daystarting at 11 minutes after 11 o'clock to sundown.
Gold Star Wives
Gold Star Moms
Blue Star Mothers
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