Understanding Military Service Banners

Have you heard of a blue star military family? What about a gold star military family? Have you wondered what this means and what is the significance of the colored stars? In general, a military service banner is a rectangular shaped banner given to families with members enrolled in the United States Military. The military service banner features a white background with a thick red border and either a blue or gold star at the center. The number of stars can vary depending on the number of family members that serve or served in the military. The color of the stars can also vary.

Blue Star Service Banner

Image of a blue star military service banner.

The Blue Star Service Banner was designed in 1917 and has served as a symbol for parents with children in the military. The use of the banner became popular during both World Wars. A blue star symbolizes that the child is currently alive and on active military duty.

Gold Star Service Banner

Image of a gold star military service banner.

The Gold Star Service Banner is similar to the Blue Star Service Banner, but the meaning of the flag is entirely different. A gold star signifies that a family member has passed away while serving their country. Similar to the Blue Star Service Banner, the Gold Star Service Banner was widely used during the World Wars, but is still used to today.

Both of these Military Service Banners are used to display a family’s appreciation for their children and their service to our great nation. The United States Army website properly explains the significance of these Military Service Banners in one sentence. They say that “the strength of our army is our soldiers and the strength of our soldiers is their families.”

Credit: Wikipedia, US Army

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2 Replies to “Understanding Military Service Banners

  1. You did not address what a red star means. After an exhausting search, I found one reference to a red star service flag meaning that the service member is missing in action. Is this correct?

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