I was watching the DNC convention on T.V. last night and I noticed that Sen. Tim Kaine was wearing a Blue Star lapel pin. And then I noticed he was wearing it incorrectly -that it should be vertical with one point of the star up. Today it came out in the news that GOP South Carolina accused him of wearing a Honduras flag on his lapel.
I had to ask myself are there really that many Americans that don't know what the Blue Star stands for? I know when I was little my mom had a banner in the front window for 7 years when my brother was in Vietnam. My own front window now proudly displays a Blue Star as my own son (Air Force) is currently deployed to ...somewhere over there. I'm not allowed to know where his AC-130 squadron is or even when they are coming home. Until he comes home the Blue Star will stay in my window and pray that I never have to put a gold star over it.
So, if any of you are interested here is the history of the Blue Star.
About the Service Flag
The Service flag is an official banner authorized by the Department of Defense for display by families who have members serving in the Armed Forces during any period of war or hostilities the United States may be engaged in for the duration of such hostilities.
The Service flag, also called the Blue Star Flag, was designed and patented by WWI Army Captain Robert L. Queisser of the 5th Ohio Infantry who had two sons serving on the front line. The flag quickly became the unofficial symbol of a child in service. President Wilson became part of this history when in 1918 he approved a suggestion made by the Women's Committee of the Council of National Defenses that mothers who had lost a child serving in the war wear a gold gilt star on the traditional black mourning arm band. This led to the tradition of covering the blue star with a gold star on the Service flag to indicate that the service member has died.
During WWII the practice of displaying the Service flag became much more widespread. Most flags were hand made by mothers across the nation. One of the most famous flags was that of the five Sullivan brothers who all perished on the U.S.S. Juneau.
The Blue Star Mothers was founded as a Veteran Service Organization and was part of a movement to provide care packages to military members serving overseas and also provided assistance to families who encountered hardships as a result of their son or husband serving in the war.
In 1960 Congress chartered the Blue Star Mothers of America as a Veterans Service Organization and in 1966, the Department of Defense revised the specifications for design, manufacture and display of the Service flag.
The Department of Defense specifies that family members authorized to display the flag include the wife, husband, mother, father, stepmother or father, parent through adoption, foster parents, children, stepchildren, children through adoption, brothers, sisters and half brothers or sisters of a member of the Armed Forces of the United States. The flag should be displayed in a window of the residence of persons authorized.
The Service flag may also be displayed by an organization to honor the members of that organization serving during a period of war or hostilities.
The Service Flag is an indoor flag and should be flown facing out from the front window of the home or organization.
If the U.S. flag is also displayed with the Service flag, the U.S. flag should be of equal or greater proportions and should take the place of honor above the Service flag.
Each blue star on the flag represents a service member in active duty. A gold star is displayed if a service member is killed in action or dies in service. If several stars are displayed by one family the gold star takes the honor of being placed at the top. The gold star should be slightly smaller than the blue star to create a blue border surrounding the gold star.
Display of a Service Star Banner is done during times of war. Once again families are displaying banners at home. Blue Star Flags may be purchased through the internet, at stores, or made by hand.
Thank you for your service..when I came home in 67 my brother was still serving in Da Nang with the U.S.M.C. until 69 when the flag came down. I however had a home made flag in my old room at home with the blue and gold stars of all those I served with in Vietnam. I would up grade those from blue to gold when I visited home..sometimes after years away as my healing was long in coming but by the end of hostilities there were eighteen gold stars of men I knew personaly and six blue stars who made it home.. of those I am the only survivor. I left the flag at the wall in D.C.
Very sorry for all your loses and I for one am very happy you made it home! The Great Spirit must have other plans for you to be here with us!!!Very Proud Of You!
Thank You..and May The Creator watch over those stars still in windows today and over our servicemen & women wherever they are.
My star is back up... My son deployed 2 weeks ago again. The next 3 months is not going to be easy for me.