Every Day is Flag Day at VA Medical Centers

American flag flying in front of VA medical center

Jefferson Barracks Division of the St. Louis VA Medical Center

In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation establishing a national Flag Day.

The nation celebrates Flag Day on June 14, but every day is Flag Day at VA.

VA is to flags as Veterans are to the military. You can’t have one without the other.

Since 1962, when VA began providing burial flags to families of deceased Veterans in recognition of honorable service to the nation, the Department has distributed millions of flags.

In fact, the average number of flags the Department has distributed annually over the past few years is more than 600,000.

A VA burial flag is a guaranteed entitlement.

No other organization comes close to distributing that many flags. The Architect of the Capitol, which provides an average of 100,000 per year to Congressional offices to honor constituent requests, comes closest.

VA burial flags are gifts from a grateful nation. A VA burial flag is a guaranteed entitlement. The Department must have a flag for every memorial service or funeral for an eligible Veteran.

Flags are presented during graveside ceremonies and mailed to Veterans’ survivors all over the world. Many families donate flags to VA national cemeteries and medical centers, which display them for special observances, often along the Avenues of Flags at the entrances to many VA facilities.

Because they are guaranteed entitlements often displayed in public places, VA burial flags must meet high standards. The standards are set by the U.S. Army Institute of Heraldry.

Page after page of VA specifications spell out the intricate details required to make a flag worthy of honoring American Veterans.

By law, each flag must be completely manufactured in the United States from raw domestic materials. Each flag must measure exactly five feet by nine feet, six inches. It must be made from domestic cotton bunting, with precisely-sized white and Old Glory red stripes and a blue star field. The stars are embroidered to make them more durable and attractive.

The entire flag is constructed with a specified number of stitches and yarns per square inch. VA burial flags must pass other stringent tests by qualified inspectors, including size and weight, material content, yarn ply, weave, colorfastness, flag design, colors, grommets, breaking strength and stitching.

Visit the Library of Congress website for more on the history of Flag Day.

Source Article from http://www.va.gov/health/NewsFeatures/20120614a.asp

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