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Letter to the Editor: What Does Gold, Blue, White, and Silver Stars Represent?

Thursday, August 13, 2020 @ 12:08 AM

Posted by Aly Delp

Valerie DeCorteCLARION, Pa. – The following letter to the editor was submitted by Valerie DeCorte, Americanism Chairman for the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States Auxiliary.

(PICTURED: Valerie DeCorte)

During World War I, an Army officer of the 5th Ohio Infantry, Captain Robert L. Queissner who had two sons serving on the front line, designed and patented the Blue Star Service Banner. This service flag/banner quickly became the unofficial symbol of a mother and/or father who had a child in military service.

Throughout WWI, American women who had family members serving their country wore a blue star around their left arm. As the war progressed and the number of dead escalated, mothers wanted to express their loss as well as the pride and honor they felt for their country. Those mothers of the fallen began sewing a gold star over the blue star and they began calling themselves “Gold Star Mothers.”

During World War II, the Department of War issued specifications on the manufacture of the service flag and service lapel pin. The Blue Star Service Banner typically displayed in windows is an 8.5×14″ white field with a blue star(s) sewn onto a red and white banner. Each 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.

If the family member symbolized is killed in action or dies while serving in the military, the blue star representing that individual will have superimposed on it a gold star of smaller size so that the blue forms a border. The traditional Gold Star Mothers and Families Day is the fourth Sunday in September.

A White Star Family is one who had a close relative that served in the military, and lost them to suicide. The purpose of the White Star Family program is to honor those service members and provide proper care and support to the families.

The Silver Star Families are those whose loved one has been wounded, contracted a serious illness or injury in a war zone. On Silver Star Service Banner Day, traditionally May 1, we recommit to caring for those who return to us wounded or ill.

Many Gold, Blue, White and Silver Star Families reside within our community.. Their sacrifice has been great and may their courage and patriotism inspire us to greater service for our country.

As members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States Auxiliary, we ask you to remember the sacrifices of these Families as their loved ones gave their “last full measure of devotion” to preserve the ideals of a free America.

May we in grateful remembrance never forget Freedom is Not Free and that much has been sacrificed for our freedoms.

Valerie DeCorte
Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States Auxiliary
Americanism Chairman

Submitted by: Bobbie Lawrence, President VFW Auxiliary 2145

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of

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