The men and women of the U.S. military give their lives to protect our freedoms and are honored for doing so. Burial or interment flags that acknowledge the service of deceased veterans or service members are meaningful mementos. But how can you request a U.S. flag for a memorial, and what do you do with it after the funeral? Here’s what you need to know.

How Can You Request Burial Flags?

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides burial flags for men and women of the armed forces killed in action and for veterans who were honorably discharged. The next of kin or a friend of the deceased can request a flag by completing VA Form 27-2008. The form also contains instructions for the proper way of displaying the flag during the funeral.  Many funeral homes will take care of this for you.

What to Do With Burial Flags After a Funeral

flagsOnce the funeral is over, you can fly, donate, refold, or encase the flag. Some argue that a flag once folded should remain folded. The flag code, however, doesn't prohibit flying a burial flag after a memorial service.

Some national VA cemeteries allow the deceased’s next of kin to donate the flag to the cemetery, where it will be flown on national holidays along an avenue of flags.

A memorial flag may also be folded and presented as a keepsake to the next of kin or to the person who requested it. Specially designed cases made to hold a folded memorial flag can be mounted on a wall or displayed on a mantle or shelf as a continual reminder of the deceased veteran’s life and service. 

If you're looking for a reliable provider of specialty memorial cases, or you would like to fly a military flag to honor a loved one, check out Harbortown Flag in Vermilion, OH.  They sell flags, pennants, accessories, parts, kits, and more. They also provide professional installations and repairs for commercial and residential flagpoles. Call (440) 967-3524 to talk to their friendly staff, or visit their website for more information about their products.