Gold Star Mothers

Jim Bolinger
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Gold Star Mother’s Day is the last Sunday in September as designated by Title 36, Section 111 of the United States Code.

The people of the United States are requested to display the Flag of the United States on Gold Star Mother’s Day as a public expression of love, sorrow and reverence by the people of the United States for Gold Star Mothers. The flag should be displayed with dignity and honor at full-staff. The law also requests the President of the United States make an appropriate proclamation regarding Gold Star Mother’s Day.

A gold star mother refers to those mothers whose sons or daughters have died in the line of duty in the Armed Services of our country. There is an organization called the American Gold Star Mothers, Inc that has been granted a federal charter and that these women may be eligible to join.

The term gold star mother had it origins with the service flag that dates back to 1917 and is authorized by the Department of Defense for members of the immediate family of a member of the Armed Forces of the United States. The service flag is comprised of a white rectangular field within a border of red and a blue star placed in the center of the white filed. If the individual symbolized by the blue star is killed while serving, a gold star is superimposed on the blue star – thus, the term gold star mother.

The service flag was reauthorized by the Department of Defense for use during the War on Terror. Flags International is one of only seventeen companies authorized by the Department of Defense to manufacture the Service Star Flag.

The U.S. Flag Code also states that the flag should not be flown when it is no longer a fitting emblem for display. When the flag is faded, frayed or ripped, it is not considered to be a dignified symbol of the United States; it is disrespectful to fly the U.S. Flag in such a condition. Citizens should either remove “unserviceable” flags from display or proudly fly a bright, fresh flag during such solemn observances.