Burial Flags

Why Does 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 other than dishonorable discharged.

• Veteran who served during wartime
• Veteran who died on active duty after May 27, 1941
• Veteran who served after January 31, 1955
• 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, 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 us to issue one flag for a Veteran's funeral. We 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.

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 Toll-Free at 1-800-827-1000.

“…Thank you for the reverent, dignified manner; you helped us through a difficult day. (Our loved one) would have felt pleased and honored.”

- T.Z.

"Just wanted to say thank you so much for all the help and kindness shown to us in our time of sorrow. You went above and beyond."

- W.F. Family

"Thanks for all your help - you made it easy for the family and done with a great deal of care."

- R.S.


99 Summer Street, Springfield, Vermont 05156-3502
Phone: (802) 885-3322 Fax: (802) 885-3332 Email:

Member of the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) and the Vermont Funeral Directors Association (VFDA)

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