A Blue Star service flag is what family members of service members in harm's way display. A gold star represents a family member that died during service. The Blue flag or banner was designed in 1917 by United States Army Captain Robert L. Queisser of the Fifth Ohio Infantry, in honor of his two sons who were serving in World War I. It was quickly adopted by the public and by government officials. On September 24, 1917, an Ohio congressman read 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." There are two organizations that understand this that I'll mention today; one old, one new.
Blue Star Mothers (
On January 22, 1942 the Flint News Advertiser printed a coupon asking Mothers of serviceman to return the coupon after filling it out. The following February 1st 300 mothers met in the Durant Hotel, in Flint Michigan. Captain George H. Maines, who had conceived the idea for this group, acted as the chair of this first meeting. It was decided that after receiving 1000 responses from the ad to form a permanent organization.
On February 6th the organization was reported on Congressional record. Chapters then formed in Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon, California, Iowa and Washington. In June of 1960 the organization was chartered by congress.
Mothers volunteered throughout the tough times of World War II. They worked in hospitals, train stations, packed care packages for soldiers and were an working part of homeland security during times our time of war. The organization waned in size over the years but has held together by mothers showing pride in both their children and country. In recent times we have began to grow in strength. Being attacked on our own soil has once again started mothers hanging flags in their windows at home proclaiming pride in the fact that we have children protecting our freedom during at time of war.
The mission of Blue Star Mothers is to perpetuate the memory of all the men and women who have served our country as members of the Armed Forces. The further object of this organization shall be patriotic, educational, social, and for service; to maintain true allegiance to the Government of the United States; to educate our members and others not to divulge military, naval, or other Government information; to assist in veterans' ceremonies, to attend patriotic rallies and meetings; to foster true democracy; to care for the unsupported mothers who gave their sons to the service of the Nation; to aid in bringing about recognition of the need of permanent civilian defense for each community and to ever be alert against invasion of un-American activities; to uphold the American institutions of freedom, justice, and equal rights, and to defend the United States from all enemies.
The BSM organization not only provides support for active duty service personnel, it promotes patriotism, assists Veterans organizations, and is available to assist in homeland volunteer efforts to help our country remain strong.
Blue Star Families (
In July of 2008, a group of Army and Marine Corps spouses formed Blue Star Families. While the organization originally began as a grassroots group of military families supporting Barack Obama for the presidency, BSF is now a nationwide non-partisan organization.
Blue Star Families is a bridge between military families, the shapers of policy affecting military life, and the nation. Our mission is to engage military families and gather our perspectives on all aspects of military life. We will use this knowledge base to inform the policy-shapers and to support families, like ours, that have the honor to serve. Through outreach with national and local organizations, civilian communities and government entities, we seek to educate the nation in order to promote healthier families, aid in our military readiness, and contribute to our country s strength.
Military families are the civilians "who also serve," and as such live in the intersection between the military and the larger society. This juxtaposition puts military families in a unique position to bridge the gap that has grown between America's military and the larger society so that together we can share the pride of service. Military families are an important element of America's readiness equation " strong military families support the strength of our nation.
Blue Star Families will help military families contribute solutions to make military family life more sustainable. Blue Star Families will also work to bridge the gap between military families and the country they serve by working with America's leaders to ensure a cooperative dialogue and a solid understanding of military family perspectives.
Blue Star Families is a new model of civic engagement, where through new media, social networking and on the ground interaction at base chapters located across the country, change, ideas and energy happen from the ground up, not the top down. There are no headquarters; Blue Star Families lives in the commitment of its members around the country.
Representing military spouses, parents, and families from all branches of service, including National Guard and Reserve, all political affiliations and all walks of life, Blue Star Families will share the voices of America's military families, helping our federal government and local civilian communities gain a better understanding of the unique challenges and gratifications of military life. Blue Star Families will increase the nation s understanding of military life, and thereby aid in the promotion of healthier families, a more sustainable military, and a stronger America.
Blue Star Families will strive to:
* Connect members with each other for support, camaraderie and engagement, both via new media outlets and local base chapters.
* Be an idea bank and incubator for military families around the country and at local base chapters to launch projects that engage us with the larger community, thereby sharing the pride of service and helping the larger community help us meet our challenges.
* Connect members with their national and local government representatives, fostering an environment of mutual understanding of military and family issues and how they relate to government.
* Serve as an outlet for the voices of spouses and families of all branches of military service with all political affiliations and deliver these findings to our national leadership, media, national and local organizations, civilian communities and other government entities.
Blue Star Families does not lobby, pick specific policy solutions, or engage in a specific legislative agenda. We seek to be an honest broker of information from our member families to those who engage in the creation of initiatives and policy that affect military families.
--- Regards, Walt Schmidt