Veteran Burial Flag

The VA will provide a Veteran Burial Flag at no cost to honor the memory of any veteran who honorably served.  It’s traditional to drape the flag over the casket or have it accompanying the urn.  The flag is generally given to the next of kin as a keepsake after the funeral service.

Veteran Burial Flag etiquette calls for flag display in alignment with the position of the body. For a closed casket, the “Union” (field of blue stars) rests at the head and over the left shoulder of the body of the deceased.  When the casket is displayed half-open, the Veteran Burial Flag is folded into thirds, the outer fold showing the Union next to the open portion of the casket on the deceased veteran’s left. When the casket is displayed in a fully opened position, the burial flag is correctly folded into a triangle with only the stars and blue of the Union showing. The folded burial flag is then placed in the center of the top portion of the casket cap (lid) just above the left shoulder of the deceased.

Folded Veteran Burial Flag

Folded Veteran Burial Flag

The funeral director usually makes the arrangements for the flag.  Alternately, a flag can be requested with VA Form 27-2008, Application for United States Flag for Burial Purposes or from the Post Office.  Veteran burial flags are automatically provided when burial is in a national, State or military post cemetery.

Replacement Veteran Burial Flag

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (V.A.) issues almost a half million Veteran Burial Flags each year, but only one flag is issued for each Veteran’s funeral.  Replacements or extra flags aren’t provided, but some veteran’s groups may be able to provide another flag at no cost.

Veterans Burial Flags are also known as Memorial Flags, Casket Flags, or American interment Flags.  They’re made of cotton and 5’x9′.6.  Cotton flags are for indoor use or display only.  They’re not designed for long term display outdoors.
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