Daily readings about people, places, and events in American history.
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September 24th
The Service Flag
The Service Flag (also known as the Blue Star Flag or the Service Star Flag) is a banner authorized by the Department of Defense for display during wartime by families with members serving in the armed forces. The rectangular flag, which has a white field with a red border, holds one blue star (symbolizing hope and pride) for each immediate family member in the armed forces. A blue
star is covered with a gold star (symbolizing sacrifice to the cause of freedom) when a family member is killed or dies while serving in the armed forces.

The tradition of the Service Flag dates to World War I, when Captain Robert L. Queissner of the 5th Ohio Infantry designed the banner to honor two sons serving on the front lines. On September 24, 1917, Ohio congressman Ivory Emerson introduced the flag to Congress, explaining that it was a tribute to those families “who gave to this great cause of liberty . . . the dearest thing in all the world to a father and mother – their children.” Banners began to appear in the windows of homes across the country, to symbolize loved ones in service.

The Service Flag saw widespread use during World War II but was less popular by the time of the Vietnam War. The tradition began to revive during the 1990 Persian Gulf War and the War on Terror. Organizations such as businesses, churches, and schools may also honor members fighting in the armed forces by displaying Service Flags.

American History Parade
1789
Congress passes the Judiciary Act, establishing the U.S. Supreme Court and federal judicial system.

1869
Gold prices plummet, causing a financial panic, after financiers Jay Gould and James Fisk try to corner the gold market.

1906
President Theodore Roosevelt signs a bill establishing Devils Tower in Wyoming as the first national monument.

1957
The Brooklyn Dodgers play their final game at Ebbets Field before moving to Los Angeles.
This content is courtesy of The American Patriot's Almanac
© 2008, 2010 by William J. Bennett and John T.E. Cribb
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