Why Does VA
Provide a Burial Flag?
A United States flag
is provided, at no cost, to drape the casket or
accompany the urn of a deceased Veteran who served
honorably in the U. S. Armed Forces. It is furnished
to honor the memory of a Veteranís military service
to his or her country. VA will furnish a burial flag
for memorialization for each other than dishonorable
- Veteran who served during wartime
- Veteran who died on active duty after May 27, 1941
- Veteran who served after January 31, 1955
- peacetime Veteran who was discharged or released
before June 27, 1950
- certain persons who served in the organized
military forces of the Commonwealth of the
Philippines while in service of the U.S. Armed
Forces and who died on or after April 25, 1951
- certain former members of the Selected Reserves
Who Is Eligible to
Receive the Burial Flag?
Generally, the flag
is given to the next-of-kin, as a keepsake, after
its use during the funeral service. When there is no
next-of-kin, VA will furnish the flag to a friend
making request for it. For those VA national
cemeteries with an Avenue of Flags, families of
Veterans buried in these national cemeteries may
donate the burial flags of their loved ones to be
flown on patriotic holidays.
How Can You Apply?
You may apply for the
flag by completing
Form 21-2008, Application for United States Flag for
Burial Purposes. You may get a flag at
any VA regional office or U.S. Post Office.
Generally, the funeral director will help you obtain
Can a Burial Flag Be Replaced?
The law allows us to
issue one flag for a Veteran's funeral. We cannot
replace it if it is lost, destroyed, or stolen.
However, some Veterans' organizations or other
community groups may be able to help you get another
How Should the Burial Flag
The proper way to
display the flag depends upon whether the casket is
open or closed. VA Form 21-2008 provides the correct
method for displaying and folding the flag. The
burial flag is not suitable for outside display
because of its size and fabric. It is made of cotton
and can easily be damaged by weather.
Information Call Toll-Free at 1-800-827-1000