Gold Star family

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Gold Star families (or Gold Star American families) are the relatives of US military members who died in battle.[1][2]

History[change | change source]

Starting in World War I, the families of US soldiers and sailors often flew flags that had a blue star for each member of the family that was serving in the military.[3] If one of them died in battle, the blue star was changed to a gold star. In August of 1947, the United States Congress authorized the military to present a gold star lapel pin to the family members of those killed in action. That first pin was a simple gold star on a purple background with a laurel wreath around the star. Another pin—this time a gold star with a gold background and four oak sprigs around the star—was authorized by Congress in 1973. It was awarded to the next of kin of service members who die during military service.

Modern use[change | change source]

The military continues to award Gold Star lapel pins to the family members or next of kin of service members who die during military service.[4][5]

Famous Gold Star families[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. Lynn, Bryan. "What Is a Gold Star American Family?". learningenglish.voanews.com. Voice of America. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  2. Zraick, Karen. "Ghazala Khan Is a Gold Star Mother. Here's What That Means". www.nytimes.com. New York Times. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  3. "Gold Star survivors". www.army.mil. US Army. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  4. "Symbols of Honor Worn by Surviving Military Families". goldstarpins.org. US government. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  5. "10 USC 1126: Gold star lapel button: eligibility and distribution". US government. Retrieved 3 August 2016.