Gold Star Mother’s Day

Categories:National Holidays
Jim Bolinger
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Gold Star Mother’s Day (September 27, 2015)

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

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.

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.

“When one loses a partner, he or she is a widow.  When children lose parents, they are orphans.  But there is no word for the parents who lose children.”  “While mothers remain the focus of this noble tradition, it is important to bear in mind that fathers and siblings grieve equally and constitute the larger Gold Star family.”  “America’s Gold Star families – those who have lost someone in a war – stand distinctly apart in society in terms of sacrifice” For those families, a reminder of war continues long after the shooting stops.  (VFW Magazine, September 2012)

There is an organization called the American Gold Star Mothers, Inc that has been granted a federal charter and these women may be eligible to join.

The term Gold Star Mother had its 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 field.  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.

When flying your flag on Gold Star Mother’s Day, it is important to note that the U.S. Flag Code also states that the U.S. 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 fresh, bright flag during such solemn observances.

Flags International® is your source of authoritative information on Gold Star Mother’s Day, the Service Flag or Banner, and proper protocol on flying or display of the U.S. Flag.