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Hammer Jammer University - Blue Star Service Banners

Updated on August 16, 2009

Rec Center Uses

This is another element in the Hammer Jammer University Series. As always the ideas expressed in this article are solely my own and no endorsement has been sought from either the US Government, or any contracting company or agency. The series is designed to assist MWR professionals deployed in a contingency environment, however some of the ideas may prove useful for Family Resource Groups (FRG), and others mentioned. I dedicate this to all those who are taking MWR farther forward on the battlefield than it has ever gone before, providing an fundamental element of entertainment and physical release that is essential to the well being of those in the fight. God Bless and keep you all, and his speed on life's journey.

The Blue Star Service Banner’s history, as a way to show support for our deployed service members, dates back to 1917. My Mother Dorothy proudly displayed hers in the window all 22 years I was on active duty, even when it wasn’t the “popular” thing to do. God Bless her for doing so. At several of my camps I would print the banners on card stock with the assigned units unit crest and designation and hang them throughout the premises; they look best when given enough wall space to hang them all together. It’s one of the ways you let your soldiers know “you are all family here”. You are welcome to copy the attached gif file and use it. I made it in Power point and unit symbols can be added in power point or any graphics software where you can build text and layers of jpeg or gif files. The Unit Crest images can be found on line through many sources, just do an image search for the units designation and you'll find many options. If that fails, ask a member of the unit if they can email it to you as it is a near certainty that the unit will have a copy of it for use in briefings and correspondance.


293rd MP's
293rd MP's

Family Resource Groups

FRG members or DODDS teachers this might be a good idea for 4-6th graders to make a special banner for their parent and post it in the window of your classroom and then given to the parent when they return home.

With Children that age the presence or spirit of their deployed parent may help ease some of the stress with the visual connection to their Mom or Dad it provides. In DODDs school especially it provides a bond with the other children who are experiencing the same emotions. I could be wrong about this (I'm not a Dr or psychologist)and if so I hope a professional leaves a comment but it makes sense to me that the Child will take some comfort in it and the parent will have a treasured memento when they return.

Community Groups

Community Groups and Non Profits may be interested in purchasing banners for the families of reservists and guardsman in your local community. My Mom got hers through our local Newspaper; The Aurora Beacon News, during the Viet Nam years. The Beacon also also sent us a fruitcake at Christmas time and it was always a welcome gift.


Show your pride and remembrance of your deployed Reserve and National Guard Soldiers, Sailors, Airman, and Marines. Print up their banner and send him/her a picture of all the business with their units Banner in the Window.


The Blue Star Service Banner 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 line. 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.”

These flags were first used in World War I, with subsequent standardization and codification by the end of World War II.[4] They were not popular during the Vietnam Conflict but have come back into use.[5] In modern usage, an organization may fly a service flag if one of its members is serving active duty.[6]

During World War II, the Department of War issued specifications on the manufacture of the flag as well as guidelines indicating when and by whom the Service flag could be flown or the Service Lapel button could be worn.

The Blue Star Service Banner typically displayed in windows is an 8.5 by 14-inch white field with a blue star(s) sewn onto a red banner. The size may vary but should be in proportion to the size of the U.S. Flag.

Today Blue Star Service Banners are displayed by families who have a loved one serving in the armed forces including the National Guard and Reserves of all military departments. The banner 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. It can also be displayed by businesses and organizations as well.

The 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 individual symbolized is killed or dies while serving the star representing that individual will have superimposed on it a gold star of smaller size so that the blue forms a border. On flags displaying multiple stars, including gold stars, when the flags are suspended as against a wall, the gold star(s) will be to the right of, or above the blue star(s) a place of honor nearest the staff.

Blue Star Mothers and Gold Star Mothers organizations were established during World War II and remain active today.

As the "War on Terrorism" continues, the Blue Star Service Banner tradition reminds us all that even in this time of an all volunteer force the pride and sacrifices of war touches every neighborhood in our land.

More on the History of the Blue Star Service Banner


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