Memorial Gold Stars on Unit Flag....

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Memorial Gold Stars on Unit Flag....

Postby ilduncans » Tue Sep 19, 2006 12:48 am

It looks like my previous thread from a few years ago has gotten too old. I will repost in order to make this information available again.

There is a little known paragraph in the insignia guide, on the page about flags, which reads as follows:

BSA Insignia Guide wrote:Gold stars (memorial). Gold stars may be affixed to the unit flag indicating members of the unit who died in the service of their country. The stars should be placed along the staff edge of the flag, parallel to the staff, with the bottom star 6 inches from the bottom edge; subsequent stars to be placed proportionately on that line, up to the place assigned to the veteran insignia, No. 11117.

Veteran insignia. Veteran insignia is affixed to unit and local council flags midway between the top and bottom of the flag and midway between the pole and the flag emblem.

This paragraph has been there a long time. I was aware of it's existence as a youth, but became accutely aware of it again when my wife's step-brother, a former Cub Scout and Boy Scout, was KIA in Afghanistan, 04-Mar-2002.

After many hours of research, the results were as follows:

  • There is no application form, nor any further clarified requirements, nor any other recognition materials whatsoever associated with this insignia in any BSA literature.
  • There is no prescribed ceremony or records kept of this unit recognition.
  • The museum (in Irving, TX) was unaware of this award and has no material on it.
  • Of all the folks I interviewed in my district, council, and in the national office, I only found two who have -ever- seen this star on a flag, and both of those were recollections from post WW2-era.
  • The Supply Division researched their records and turned up exactly one order for the above part number prior to mine.

In short, if you go looking for material around this unit recognition, you may very easily come up empty. If anyone has located any further information about this insignia in the past few years, or there have been additional developments since this was last posted here, please post.

I ended up writing a ceremony from scratch, performed in Boulder City, NV on Veterans' Day a few years ago at the dedication of a permanent memorial to those killed in action that day, with members of Matthew's former Pack and Troop participating.

If anyone is aware of former scouts that have been killed in the service of our country, and are interested in what I have, I will happily share. Further, I would be very pleased to work with you to help create a fitting ceremony, if you would like.
Last edited by RWSmith on Tue Jul 13, 2010 12:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: Minor phpbb code-edit; added quote; and, converted this thread to a "Sticky"..
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Stars

Postby riverwalk » Tue Sep 19, 2006 6:34 am

Outstanding post, and thank you for this. We've experienced this in our District, though I'm not sure anyone knows about the star? I'll ask. I may want your input as well.
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Postby ilduncans » Sun Jul 15, 2007 5:57 pm

Renewing this thread ... as important as ever in these times.

I had occasion over the weekend to identify a troop right here in my district who will be planning a ceremony to attach their own gold star in the near future.

I know there are many hundreds more Scouts and Scouters who have fallen in the service of our nation ... please help spread the word so they can be remembered by their Scouting family.
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Postby 616kayak » Thu Jul 26, 2007 9:40 pm

if i remember correctly during ww2 houses who had family members in the military were given a banner or flag to hang in their window. It had a silver star for each member serving. The silver stars were replaced with gold if the son died.
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Postby ThunderingWind » Fri Jul 27, 2007 8:25 am

616kayak wrote:if i remember correctly during ww2 houses who had family members in the military were given a banner or flag to hang in their window. It had a silver star for each member serving. The silver stars were replaced with gold if the son died.


These are still available. I had one in our house when my wife was called up for the war. She is back now.

However, I had to pay for it. My Mother-In-Law also put one in her window,
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Postby pipestone1991 » Fri Jul 27, 2007 10:28 am

ThunderingWind wrote:
616kayak wrote:if i remember correctly during ww2 houses who had family members in the military were given a banner or flag to hang in their window. It had a silver star for each member serving. The silver stars were replaced with gold if the son died.


These are still available. I had one in our house when my wife was called up for the war. She is back now.

However, I had to pay for it. My Mother-In-Law also put one in her window,



First of all, thank your wife from us at the scouting forums for serving our country.

I would like to find out about these stars, we had a former member of the troop die in Vietnam. We dedicated our website to him, I think it would be nice to getr one of these stars on our troop flag.
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Re: Memorial Gold Stars on Unit Flag.

Postby scott_farley » Sun Jul 11, 2010 11:22 pm

John, I'd like to get in touch with you to learn more about what you've unearthed on getting the star itself, and some ceremony ideas. Tragically, I found out this morning that our Troop has a need for this recognition. I know that you and I worked together to present some information on this as part of our Woodbadge experience, but I seem to have lost track of the information, and would sincerely appreciate any help you might be able to give. Thanks.

Scott Farley
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Re: Memorial Gold Stars on Unit Flag....

Postby RWSmith » Tue Jul 13, 2010 3:43 pm

Scott, see... http://home.comcast.net/~ilduncans/site/?/home/.

All, I added the Veteran insignia paragraph to John's original post (above) strictly for reference.

BSA Insignia Guide (Online version) wrote:Gold stars (memorial). Gold stars may be affixed to the unit flag indicating members of the unit who died in the service of their country. The stars should be placed along the staff edge of the flag, parallel to the staff, with the bottom star 6 inches from the staff edge and 6 inches from the bottom edge; subsequent stars to be placed proportionately on that line, up to the place assigned to the veteran insignia, No. 11117.

Veteran insignia. Veteran insignia is affixed to unit and local council flags midway between the top and bottom of the flag and midway between the pole and the flag emblem.

Note: The vertical line of placement for the (first, and subsequent) star(s) is different, depending on which version you read! -- Previously(?), the vertical line for the first row of stars was to be placed next to the staff edge of the flag, while it now(?) reads the first star goes 6" from the bottom edge of the flag, as well as 6" from the staff edge.

I personally think the exacting details don't matter all that much, as long as it's professional, neat; and, that any subsequent stars are placed proportionally, IAW with guidelines above.

============

Apparently(???)... the Veteran insignia referenced above is not what some might think. Here's a link (at ScoutStuff.Org) where it is apparently(?) called... Veteran Unit Emblems.

Also, here's a link (at Scouting.Org) to Insignia Guide: Flags.
Last edited by RWSmith on Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Fixed broken link to ScoutStuff.Org
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Re: Memorial Gold Stars on Unit Flag....

Postby razor_strop » Tue Jul 13, 2010 8:06 pm

Thanks to all for compiling this information, and to Commons' former troop for the lasting symbol of remembrance.

Rest easy, Ranger.
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Re: Memorial Gold Stars on Unit Flag....

Postby LSR » Tue Mar 29, 2011 12:56 pm

This is one recognition I hope my troop never gets.
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Re: Memorial Gold Stars on Unit Flag....

Postby Eaglewarr7 » Wed Apr 20, 2011 8:44 pm

Hi all, I wanted to let all know that we have been using the ribbon for years, our Scoutmaster, Major Sullivan, was KIA in Bosnia while on patrol they were ambushed, He left 3 young sons all scouts. The one we have attached to our Troop Flag is made of yellow nylon has the letter US ARMY in black and there is a Black star at the end of the streamer. It is about 18 inches long and about 3 inches wide. I am not sure the exact size. This is the real one that would be used with the national colors it would be placed below the flag on the pole. The Black star means that our Troop or unit has lost one in combat. We got this from the Army as we were an Army Chartered Troop at the time. My Troop 135 out of Fort Ord, Ca. Fort Ord was closed in 1994 but we stayed chartered to the Commander of the Presidio Of Monterey until the big breakup in 2004 since then we are still on post at Fort Ord , The Army retained the housing areas , Post Exchange and commissary for the use of Navy forces at the Naval Post Graduate School as well as the US Army Defense Language School on the Presidio of Monterey. Which is now call Ord Military Community, Our Charter was picked up by the American Legion Post 591. I have been scouting over 20 years as far as i know we are the only troop that flies that streamer. As far as i know while I was Scoutmaster there from 2002 till 2010 no one has questioned it. My Troop had been on post there from 1959.
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Re: Memorial Gold Stars on Unit Flag....

Postby Eaglewarr7 » Wed Apr 20, 2011 8:53 pm

The BSA Veteran Flag has nothing to do with having military veterans in your units some people get it mixed up; it is the flag that is flown showing the years your troop has been chartered. You can get that information off your charter forms and it use to be on the charter wall certificate. So if you’re Troop or Pack has been around 25 years you can order the 25 year flag and the Scouts can wear the 25 year patch above their troop numbers. Hope this helps.
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Re: Memorial Gold Stars on Unit Flag....

Postby razor_strop » Thu Apr 21, 2011 10:19 am

Eaglewarr7, do you have any more information on MAJ Sullivan's death? I wasn't aware of any US soldiers in UNPROFOR/IFOR/SFOR killed by hostile fire.
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Re: Memorial Gold Stars on Unit Flag....

Postby RWSmith » Thu Apr 21, 2011 3:14 pm

FYI, all...

See: Special Flag Decorations. I also posted a Placement Guide.
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Re: Memorial Gold Stars on Unit Flag....

Postby White Bear » Wed Oct 31, 2012 9:44 am

Fun and interesting topic. The link for the Veteran Award was dead...

http://www.scoutstuff.org/veteran-unit-emblems.html

Also, there was mention of a 'banner' that folks could hang in thier windows if they have a servicemember in the family. The individuals entitled to display the service flag are clearly defined in 36 USC § 901 which reads:

    A service flag approved by the Secretary of Defense may be displayed in a window of the place of residence of individuals who are members of the immediate family of an individual serving in the Armed Forces of the United States during any period of war or hostilities in which the Armed Forces of the United States are engaged.

  • The Blue Star on White Background is for a Member serving
  • The Silver Star on Blue Background is for a Veteran
  • The Gold Star on White Background is for the Loss of a servicemember. (BTW, Department of the Army is starting a Special ID Card program for Gold Star survivors)

For more on Gold Star programs: http://www.goldstarmoms.com/
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