Blue Star Service Banner was designed and patented in 1917
by World War I Army Capt. Robert L. Queissner of the 5th Ohio
Infantry who had two sons serving on the front line. It quickly
became the unofficial symbol of a child in the service.
Sept. 24, 1917, an Ohio congressman read the following into
the Congressional Record:
The mayor of Cleveland,
the Chamber of Commerce and the governor of Ohio have adopted
this service flag. The world should know of those who give so
much for liberty. The dearest thing in all the world to a father
and mother - their children.
World War II, the Department of War issued specifications on
the manufacture of the flag as well as guidelines indicating
when and by whom the Service flag could be flown or the Service
Lapel button could be worn. The Department of Defense updated
the guidelines on December 1, 1967 with DoD Directive 1348.1,
which implemented an Act of Congress authorizing a service flag
and a service lapel button (U.S.C. 179-182).
Blue Star Service Banner typically displayed in windows is an
8.5 by 14-inch white field with a blue star(s) sewn onto a red
banner. The size may vary but should be in proportion to the
size of the U.S. Flag.
Blue Star Service Banners are displayed by families who have
a loved one serving in the armed forces including the National
Guard and Reserves of all military departments ( https://www-perscom.army.mil/tagd/tioh/FAQ/ServiceFlagFactSheet.htm).
The banner displayed in the front window of a home shows a familys
pride in their loved one serving in the military, and reminds
others that preserving Americas freedom demands much.
blue star represents one family member serving in the armed
forces. A banner can have up to five stars, signifying that
five members of that family are currently in military uniform
on active duty.
the individual symbolized is killed or dies while serving the
star representing that individual will have superimposed on
it a gold star of smaller size so that the blue forms a border.
On flags displaying multiple stars, including gold stars, when
the flags are suspended as against a wall, the gold star(s)
will be to the right of, or above the blue star(s) a place of
honor nearest the staff.
Star Mothers and Gold Star Mothers organizations were established
during World War I and remain active today.
Star Service Banners, while widely used across America during
World Wars I and II, were not embraced during the Korean or
Vietnam wars with nearly the same enthusiasm.
American Legion is rekindling the spirit of pride in our military
men and women following the horrific terrorist attacks of September
11, 2001. The American Legion is providing banners to families
in communities across the nation. Free color downloads are available
at www.legion.org of the banners and static cling versions for
home and automobile, as well as lapel pins, are available from
The American Legion National Emblem Sales.
American Legion also has a special Blue Star Banner Corporate
Flag for government and corporate America to show their support
for employees called to active duty in the war against terrorism.