Why does the 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 Veteran’s military service to his or her country. VA will furnish a burial flag for memorialization for each honorably discharged Veteran that meets the following criteria:
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, your 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. It cannot be replaced if it is lost, destroyed, or stolen. However, some Veterans' organizations or other community groups may be able to help you get another flag.
How should the burial flag be dislayed?
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.