Military Veteran Burial Flag


Military Veteran Burial Flag Who Is Eligible Eligibility Flag Display Cases Cremation UrnsThe United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides a United States flag, 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 veteran's military service to his or her country. The VA will furnish a burial flag for memorialization for:

  • a veteran who served during wartime
  • a veteran who died on active duty after May 27, 1941
  • a veteran who served after January 31, 1955
  • a 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, the 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 VA 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 the flag.

Can a Burial Flag Be Replaced?

The law allows the VA to issue one flag for a veteran's funeral. They 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 flag. You may also purchase American Flags Made in America on our web site. The standard size for a military veteran casket burial flag is 5' x 9 1/2'.

How Should the Burial Flag Be Displayed?

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.

For More Information Call the US Department of Veterans Affairs Toll-Free at 1-800-827-1000