Memorial Day Flags

Categories:National Holidays
David Aker
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Memorial Day Flags

 The U.S. Flag should always be flown at half-staff until noon on Memorial Day.

Memorial Day is designated to honor those military personnel who have lost their lives in any war while serving in the United States Armed Forces.  There are some additional flags that would be appropriate for special use on Memorial Day.

Flags that are directly related to the designated purpose of Memorial Day include:

Honor and Remember Flag

The Honor and Remember flag design is distinctive, yet simple. Each detail on the flag symbolizes an important part of the overall meaning of the flag’s message.

The Red Field represents the blood spilled by brave men and women in America’s military throughout our history, who willingly gave their lives so that we all would remain free. The Blue Star represents active service in military conflict. This symbol originated with World War I, but on this flag it signifies service through all generations from the American Revolution to present day. The White Border surrounding the Gold Star recognizes the purity of sacrifice. There is no greater price an American can pay than to give his or her life in service to our country. The Gold Star signifies the ultimate sacrifice of a warrior in active service who will not return home. Gold reflects the value of the life that was given.  The Folded Flag signifies the final tribute to an individual life that a family sacrificed and gave to the nation. The Flame is an eternal reminder of the spirit that has departed this life, yet burns on in the memory of all who knew and loved the fallen hero.

The Service Flag or Banner (Gold Star)

 The Department of Defense has authorized these banners or flags, with a blue star, to be displayed by the immediate family of a member of the Armed Forces of the United States during the country’s current “war” status.  (36 U.S.C. 179-182)  The flag has a white background, with a red border and a blue star in the center of the flag.  One star is affixed for each family member in the Armed Forces.

This is the only officially authorized flag or banner commemorating the death of a member of the Armed Forces.  A “gold” star affixed over the blue star indicates the death of the Service Member.

Lest they be forgotten

The “Lest They Be Forgotten…” flag was designed by Gregg Garvey who lost his son in the war in Iraq. He has made it his personal mission to build a bronze monument in each home town of soldiers that have been killed in Iraq. Gregg uses the proceeds from his flag sales to buildthese monuments. Valley Forge Flag Company, the exclusive manufacturer of this flag, will be giving a portion of every flag sold to his cause.

Remembrance Flag

The “Remembrance Flag” is a memorial flag which can be universally accepted by everyone to show sympathy and support to the family of someone who has died. This includes all religions, nationalities, public or private institutions.

 Associated Flags

There are additional flags that have been developed to represent and honor veterans.  These flags may explicitly or implicitly honor those that have lost their lives in service to our country.  These flags include:


On August 10, 1990, the 101st Congress passed U.S. Public Law 101-355, recognizing the National League of Families POW/MIA Flag and designating it “as a symbol of our Nation’s concern and commitment to resolving as fully as possible the fates of Americans still prisoner, missing and unaccounted for in Southeast Asia. Thus ending the uncertainty for their families and the Nation.” Beyond Southeast Asia, it has been a symbol for POW/MIAs from all American Wars.

The POW/MIA flag is an American flag designed as a symbol of citizen concern about United States military personnel taken as prisoners of war (POWs) or listed as missing in action (MIA).

The flag is black, and bears in the center, in black and white, the emblem of the league. The emblem was designed by Newt Heisley, and features a white disk bearing in black silhouette the bust of a man (Jeffery Heisley), watch tower with a guard on patrol, and a strand of barbed wire; above the disk are the white letters POW and MIA framing a white 5-pointed star; below the disk is a black and white wreath above the white motto: “You are not Forgotten.”

Korean War Veterans Flag 

The Official Korean War Commemorative Flag was developed to honor Korean War veterans.  The flag is a symbolic representation of the Korean War and the united effort by the United States, the Republic of Korea, and the allied nations.  The Institute of Heraldry assisted in the development of this flag.  The flag incorporates the Korean “Tae Guk” symbol representing peace and harmony, twenty-two stars representing the allied nations, the United Nations battle streamer, and the words “Freedom is not Free” in English and Hangul.

Vietnam Veterans of America Flag 

The symbolism of the Vietnam Veterans of America flag is explained below:

  • The background color is golden yellow, the primary color of the Vietnam Service Ribbon.
  • In the “hoist” of the flag, the seventeen brown stars, arranged in three vertical rows, represent the seventeen official campaigns of the Vietnam War.
  • The insignia of VVA, including the identification inscription Vietnam Veterans of America is centered between the campaign stars and the “fly” of the flag. The VVA insignia incorporates the colors and stripes of the Vietnam Service Ribbon, which was awarded to all men and women who served in Southeast Asia and the contiguous waters or air space from July 4, 1965, through March 28, 1973.
  • Surrounding the insignia, in natural colors, is a wreath containing a laurel branch and a sheaf of rice stalks. The two are tied together at the base with a strand of black barbed wire. The rice represents Southeast Asia, and the laurel signifies honor to all who served there. The black barbed wire serves as a reminder of the POWs and MIAs who are still unaccounted for.

Veterans Remembered Flag

The flag depicts the founding of our nation by the thirteen stars that emanate from the hoist to the large red star that represents our Nation and the five branches of our country’s Military that defend her. The white star indicates the Veteran’s dedication to service. The blue star honors all who serve in the military in the past, present, and future. The gold star memorializes those who fell defending our Nation. The green field represents the hallowed ground where all rest eternally.

Spirit of America Flag

The Spirit of America Flag is the only flag of its kind. It honors the veterans and heroes of wars past and our current soldiers who are fighting for our freedom. This flag also pays tribute to the many heroes and civilians that lost their lives on September 11th, 2001.

The meaning of the Insignia:  “Spirit of America” for uniting together, the Eagle for freedom, Red for bloodshed, Blue for valor and bravery, the 50 stars for the 50 States, POW/MIA for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the 8 Stars for 8 Men who died in the Iran rescue attempt, Beirut for 241 American troops who lost their lives in the barracks explosion, the Red/White/Blue ribbon between flag staffs is for firefighters, policemen, Port Authority, paramedics and EMT’s who died on 9/11, the Yellow Ribbon for all the heroes and civilians who lost their lives on 9/11, 2 Red/White/Blue stars bordering the insignia represents the Twin Towers, a list of Wars including the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, U.S. Mexican War, the Civil War, Spanish-American War, WWl, WWll, Korea, Vietnam, Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, Persian Gulf, Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

This flag was designed by Dale Hemphill of Elkhart, Indiana.