Stars From Old American Flags Find a New Use

One New York group takes stars from old American flags and uses them to honor veterans and military members for their service.

In Troy, New York, one patriotic group found a new way to use worn out US flags to honor military service members and veterans. They started a campaign called Stars For Our Troops where they cut out stars from old American flags and use them as a way to recognize service to our country.

Torn American flag

Susan Wells started the program. After she collects tattered and torn US flags, she first washes and presses each flag. After she carefully cuts our each of the 50 stars (assuming they are all in tact), she places them in a small tote bag with a note. That special note reads: “I am part of our American flag that has flown over a home in the U.S.A. I can no longer fly. The sun and winds have caused me to become tattered and torn. Please carry me as a reminder that you are not forgotten.”

Even though Wells founded the program, she has about a dozen volunteers that help her distribute the stars on holidays and during patriotic events such as a recent Memorial Day parade. Wells said, “When I have a soldier crying on my shoulder and thanking me for remembering his service, I knew it was right.”

Torn American flag with hole

The US flag code calls for worn out US flags to be disposed of in a dignified manner; Stars For Our Troops is an alternative method to disposing of damaged flags. The project collects old flags many ways, one of which is through donation. Wells says sometimes she’ll even receive a note of explanation with the old flags.

Susan started Stars For Our Troops in 2010 when she was laid off from her department store job. After that she also heard of a similar program started by a group of ladies in Florida called the Star Project which began in 2005.

If you have a flag you would like to donate or want more information about Stars For Our Troops, visit their website at And if you need a brand new flag to replace the worn out one, visit for the largest selection of flags.

Credit: NY Daily News

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One Reply to “Stars From Old American Flags Find a New Use”

  1. I volunteer with two different American Legion Posts in the North Georgia Area. My dad served 27 years in the USAF serving in WWII (as a POW)and the Korean conflict. I recently learn about your program. I am very interested in obtaining 100 stars. Please let me know exactly how to do donate/purchase the stars. I think this is a wonderful program and one that the veterans or active duty would enjoy having! I know I would enjoy having one for myself. Proud to be an American!!!

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