In-Service Banners | What Are They and Why Are They Important?

Posted by Rustin D on Mar 26, 2021

What Are In-Service Banners?

In-service banners and flags are a part of a very important tradition in honoring those that have served in The United States Armed Forces.

The blue star banner is flown by those who have a member of their family serving in active duty for the United States military. It is defined by a white field surrounded by a red border with a typically blue star for each family member serving. Each banner can have up to four stars per banner.

Some in-service banners are gold star banners representing a family member that has passed away during their military service. For example, if someone has three family members serving, one of which has passed, they would have two blue stars and one gold star.

Previously, blue and gold stars were the only ones specified for use; however, there is a long-held tradition to use a silver star to represent those who have received a permanent injury while serving. The use of the silver star was officially recognized by the United States Congress in 2010.

History Of In-Service Banners

The banner was designed in 1917 by Army Captain Robert L. Queisser to honor his two sons, who were service members during World War I. The service flag quickly became popular amongst the public and government officials and was used for the remainder of World War I. The banner was later standardized near the end of World War II.

They remained popular through conflicts such as the Korean War until around the time of the Vietnam War where they became much less popular; however, these flags have seen a resurgence following the Gulf War and have remained popular ever since.

What Is Gold Star Spouses Day?

Often, we talk about the bravery of those serving in the front line; however, we sometimes forget about the family members surrounding these individuals. It is important to recognize the family members that have sacrificed so much for our country and what it represents. Gold Star Spouses refers to the spouses who have lost a loved one while in service. Gold Star Spouses Day is a tradition that began during WWII and has continued to carry on in recognition of the losses these survivors have endured. It’s a day to commemorate the fallen and show appreciation towards the spouses of these fallen heroes. Gold star banners are used to show pride for the loved ones who have given up so much to protect this country. 

Who Can Display In-Service Banners & Flags?

Immediate family members of those serving may display this flag in the window of their home during periods of war or hostilities that require US Armed Forces engagement. Flags are personalized with one blue star for each family member serving along with the standard white field and red border. An In-Service Flag will hold up to three stars and the banner will hold as many as five. A gold star is placed over a service member's blue star if they have been killed or died. Displaying the flag is not only in honor of those serving in the US Armed Forces. It’s also to the family’s sacrifice in supporting and, possibly, losing their loved ones for the freedom and liberties they believe in. The flag may also be displayed on the last Sunday of September for Gold Star Mother’s and Family’s Day.

Flags.com is a proud retailer of In-Service Flags and Banners for families.