What is a Gold Star Family?

Jane Cody

Every year on the last Sunday of September, the United States recognizes Gold Star Mothers and Gold Star Families. Though not in battle themselves, their sacrifices were great.

The Gold Star Family

During World War I, every household who had an immediate family member serving in the Armed Forces displayed a banner with a blue star. The number of blue stars on the banner indicated how many members of the family were serving. Unfortunately, many of those blue stars were replaced with gold ones. When a member of the Armed Forces died in battle, the blue star on the banner that represented them became a gold star. The family that held this banner then became a “Gold Star Family.” Originally, the mother of a fallen soldier was recognized as a “Gold Star Mother,” but over time, the mother, along with other members of the family such as the father, spouse, and children were also recognized.

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These banners can hold up to four stars. To order either a Blue or Gold Indoor Star Service Banner, call us at 1-866-879-1776.


History of the Gold Star Family

In 1918, the Women's Committee of National Defenses approached then President Woodrow Wilson regarding the attire mothers who were mourning wore. Instead of the traditional mourning attire, mothers who lost their children during combat would wear a black armband with a gold star. President Wilson approved this request, and in the letter to the Women’s Committee, he coined the term “Gold Star Mother.” The year 1936 was the first year that the United States gave recognition to Gold Star Mothers - the mothers of the active-duty service members who lost their lives during battle. In 2011, then President Barack Obama made an amendment to President Wilson’s congressional resolution, honoring not only Gold Star Mothers but also Gold Star Families on the last Sunday of each September. In July of 2020, the Senate took honoring the Gold Star Families a step further by dedicating the entire week leading up to the last Sunday of September to Gold Star Families.

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At Flags USA, we offer a wide variety of Military & Support Flags. To see the full list of these flags offered, click here.


The best way to support a Gold Star Family is to honor and remember their fallen hero.

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