The honor and significance of the flag at veteran burials

A few days ago a U.S. flag was stolen from its case at a Roseville home, which was to be presented and displayed for an Air Force veteran during his burial service this weekend.

The act has sparked a backlash of response towards whomever committed the theft, but its also started discussions about the process.

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs says that," 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."

A burial flag is furnished to honor the memory of a veteran’s military service for their country.

"Generally when the flag is on the coffin, the flag is then folded and presented to the next of kin," said John Cox, Service Officer for the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8762 in Sacramento.

Cox feels that there's a matter of respect the flag exudes when used in services.

"Showing the colors and showing respect is why the flag is there," he said. "An older flag that has [already] been used, those can be used in the service as well."

When asked if there's any specific size of flag used Cox said "It's really just by appropriate size" and he added that "I've seen [services] both with small and large ones."

The U.S. flag can also be displayed with a Service Flag in burial services.

The history of the Service Flag includes a tradition of covering the blue star with a gold star on the flag indicating the service member has died or was killed. The color of the stars on Service Flags are symbolic in that the blue star represents hope, pride and the gold star represents sacrifice for liberty and freedom, according to USFlag.

Though the Roseville man's flag was taken before the Air Force veteran's burial service, a replacement flag was offered for when he will be laid to rest this weekend.

© 2017 KXTV-TV


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