Recognizing Silver Star Service Banner Day
As we leave April behind, the sun starts to welcome in the summer weather. But warmer weather isn’t the only thing that comes with May. We can’t forget that May 1st also brings with it a celebration of remembrance. Silver Star Banner Day was established just 6 years ago in 2010 when Silver Star Families of America (SSFOA) petitioned to have a day set aside to remember those military service members who are ill or wounded. The House of Representatives accepted that petition, making the day and banner official.
The Flag and Its Stars
The service flag was first designed by Captain Robert L. Queisser of the U.S. Army in 1917. Over the years, the banner has gone in and out of use and people have changed which stars they place on it to represent a different status for their loved ones at war. For the most part, however, the national service flag is historically white with a red border. A blue star would be placed at the center of the flag to indicate a child at war. If that child died at war, then a gold star would be placed on top of the blue one in a slightly smaller size so that the blue could still be seen.
The Silver Star Service Banner, however, looks a little different than the traditional service flag. A silver star is placed on a blue background that is bordered in red. The banner signifies that a loved one who served at war is injured or seriously ill. It is often displayed in front windows of homes or in the windows of businesses where an employee has been injured during wartime. When presented alongside the national flag, this service banner must be of a smaller size or flown lower than the national flag. However, the required disposal methods are the same.
This banner honors those who are ill, injured, or dying from military work. But the Silver Star Families of America organization, which awards these banners, works hard to provide help year round in addition to awarding these honors, and it doesn’t just aid soldiers. It also aids anyone suffering from any war, including the soldiers and their families. When awarding the service banner, the SSFOA considers recipients of the Purple Heart and victims of friendly fire, as well as those suffering from PTSD, the Gulf War syndrome, and the effects of Agent Orange. There are other organizations very similar to the SSFOA that represent the other stars indicated above and their respective meanings. These include Blue Star Mothers of America and American Gold Star Mothers.
Recognized Across the Country
Everyone recognizes this day a little differently. Some will hang or fly their flags to better display their gratitude and respect for those who have served. Others might spend quality time with their loved ones. And still others might not be aware of what this day means exactly. It’s so easy to get caught up in daily errands with so many tasks demanding attention around us. But we can’t forget that there are soldiers out in the world fighting for our freedom to have errands to run in the first place. That’s part of the reason why it’s so important to have Silver Star Service Banner Day and other national days like it to remind us of the sacrifices those around us have made for our freedoms.
At Low VA Rates, we remember our service members every day–we make it our business to. Visit our blog to read more about how we remember veterans and show our support.