The Blue Star Flag
The Blue Star Flag 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 lines. It quickly became the unofficial symbol of a child in the service.
On 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.”
The Blue Star Flag is an 8 by 16-inch white field with a blue star(s) sewn onto a red banner. Today, Blue Star Flags are displayed by families who have a loved one serving in the armed forces, including activated members of the National Guard and Reserves, whether the family member is a son, daughter, brother, sister, wife, husband, cousin, grandchild, etc. The flag displayed in the front window of a home shows a family’s pride in their loved one serving in the military, and reminds others that preserving America’s freedom demands much.
The blue star represents one family member serving in the armed forces. A flag can have up to five stars, signifying that five members of that family are currently in military uniform on active duty. A gold star replaces the blue star if that relative is killed or dies in service. If more than one star appears on the flag, the gold star takes the place of honor nearest the staff.
The Blue Star Flag is a symbol of both hope and of grave concern. It symbolizes a pride in the commitment of America’s youth and reminder of the seriousness of the entire war effort. By displaying the Blue Star Flag in the window, Americans can show their support and pride in the men and women who are serving in the United States Military.