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 veteran's military service to his or her country.
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 Do I Get a Flag?
Johnston & Williams brings a pressed United States flag with us when we initially transfer Veterans into our care. This flag is draped over your loved one's body on our cot during transport and then labeled with their name upon our return to the funeral home. This flag will then be hand pressed again for placement on the casket or, if cremation is selected, it is our protocol that just before the cremation is started, that same flag that accompanied them from the place of death is draped over their cremation container, a recording of Taps is played and then the flag is folded to prepare it for return to your family. A flag that is ready to be retired is then draped over the cremation container to be cremated with your loved one.
If Johnston & Williams did not initially care for your loved ones arrangements and you are still wishing to obtain a flag for a Veteran who has already passed away, you may elect to apply for the flag on your own by completing VA Form 27-2008, Application for United States Flag for Burial Purposes. You may get a flag at any VA regional office or U.S. Post Office.
How Should the Burial Flag Be Displayed?
The proper way to display the flag depends upon whether the casket is open or closed or displayed next to an urn. Our staff of professional, licensed funeral directors are trained in the proper way to display the flag for funeral and memorial services and will oversee these details on your behalf.
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 this reason, Johnston & Williams will provide your family with a complimentary flag case as our gift of appreciation for your loved one's honorable and faithful service.