Families of military members want to show their support of their sons and daughters who are currently deployed during periods of war or hostilities around the world. The Blue Star Service Flag grew out of this desire to publicly recognize a family member’s service. The first flag was designed by WWI Army Captain Robert L. Queisser of the 5th Ohio Infantry in 1917. Captain Queisser wanted to recognize his two sons who were serving on the front lines at the time. Soon, other families began displaying the flag to honor their family members serving in harm’s way. The single blue star represents one individual. The flag can feature up to five stars for each person in a family that is serving. In 1918, Woodrow Wilson approved a recommendation made by the Women’s Committee of the Council of National Defenses. They suggested that when a mother lost a son during conflict, they should be allowed to honor that child with a gold star on their black mourning armband. This tradition was incorporated into the Blue Star Service flags. When a soldier is killed in combat, the blue star is covered with a slightly smaller gold star so that the gold star is edged in blue. If there are several family members serving, the gold star takes the top position of honor.
During WWII, the flag became more popular with mothers’ hand sewing the flags to represent their children who had gone to war. The flag was seen less often during the Korean and Vietnam conflicts. However, families have returned to honoring their family members with the flag during the following hostilities.
The Blue Star Service flag is meant to be displayed on the inside of a window in the home. Businesses and organizations can also display the flag to recognize its members. Typically, it is displayed by relatives of the service member in their homes. There are few specifications about the flag’s size. If it is displayed with an American flag, the American flag should be the same size or larger than the Blue Star flag.
The Blue Star Service flag is an enduring symbol of a family’s support of their service members. It should be proudly hung in the front window of the home until the service member returns.
Proud of our son!