American flags at gravesites for service members buried at both Arlington National Cemetery and the U.S. Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery
Memorial Day is a week away it seems only fitting to discuss one of the longest running and largest flag placing traditions in the world! This tradition, known as “Flags in,” has been conducted annually by the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) since being designated as the Army’s official ceremonial unit 70 years ago. Every available soldier in the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment participates, placing small American flags at each headstone and at the bottom of each niche row.
In just four hours, the soldiers place flags in front of more than 228,000 headstones to honor every individual buried at Arlington National Cemetery and at the bottom of about 7,000 niche rows in the cemetery’s Columbarium Courts and the Niche Wall. Approximately 14,000 flags are placed at the Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery. All flags are removed after Memorial Day, before each cemetery opens to the public.
For additional information: Arlington National Cemetery
Credit: “Flag In”