27 Feb Burial Flags
Any veteran who serves the military honorably is provided with the US flag at no price for the purpose of covering their casket or accompanying the urn of a deceased veteran. This is done so that the memory of the service of the veteran at the military may be honored.
A burial flag will be furnished for any veteran who fulfills one of the following conditions and was discharged under better than dishonorable conditions:
- Contributors of War
- Passed away in active service after 27th May 1941
- Member of VA having served the military after 31st January 1955.
- Peacetime veteran released or discharged before 27th June 1950.
- Veterans who served the commonwealth allied forces of Philippines while serving US army and passed away on or after 25th April 1951.
- Some selected ex-members of Reserves.
The next of kin is given the flag to keep after it is used for the funeral. In case there is no next of kin, the flag will be furnished to a friend who has requested it. The families of the veterans who are buried in the national cemeteries are entitled to donate the burial flags for hoisting on patriotic holidays.
A flag may be applied for by submitting the completed VA Form 21-2008 for US flag for Burial Purposes.
A US flag may be acquired from any post office or a regional office of the VA. You will have the help of the director of the funeral for obtaining the flag. One flag is allowed for the funeral of a veteran by law. In case it is destroyed, lost or stolen, it won’t be replaced. However, some of the organizations of veterans and some community groups may assist you in getting another flag in that case.
The appropriate orientation of displaying the flag is dependent upon if the casket is closed or open. The VA Form 21-2008 has the correct SOPs for folding and displaying the flag and can be viewed here.
It is not appropriate to display the burial flag outside your property due to its fabric and size as it is pure cotton and may get damaged by changing weather conditions. Instructions for folding a flag may be accessed at www.va.gov/opa/publications/celebrate.