A service flag or service banner is a banner that family members of those serving in the United States Armed Forces can display. The flag or banner is officially defined as a white field with a red border, with a blue star for each family member serving in the Armed Forces of the United States during any period of war or hostilities in which the Armed Forces of the United States are engaged. A gold star (with a blue edge) represents a family member that died during service, regardless of cause of death. The deceased might have been killed in action, or died due to unrelated causes.

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  • A service flag or service banner is a banner that family members of those serving in the United States Armed Forces can display. The flag or banner is officially defined as a white field with a red border, with a blue star for each family member serving in the Armed Forces of the United States during any period of war or hostilities in which the Armed Forces of the United States are engaged. A gold star (with a blue edge) represents a family member that died during service, regardless of cause of death. The deceased might have been killed in action, or died due to unrelated causes. Based on the star symbols used on the service flag, the term "Blue Star" has come into use in the United States as a reference to having a family member in active military service, and the term "Gold Star" has come to refer to the loss of a family member in military service. For example, the mother of a person who died in service is referred to as a "Gold Star mother", and the wife of an active service member is referred to as a "Blue Star wife". Charitable support organizations have been established for Gold Star mothers, Gold Star wives, Blue Star mothers, and Blue Star wives. The last Sunday in September is observed as Gold Star Mother's Day, Gold Star family members are entitled to wear a Gold Star Lapel Button, and all 50 U.S. states and Guam offer some form of a specialty license plate for motor vehicles owned by Gold Star family members. The use of the terms has sometimes been restricted to refer to service during specific armed conflicts. For example, the service banner originally applied only to World War I, and it was later expanded to include service in World War II, then the Korean War, then other specific conflicts, and then "any period of war or hostilities". In some current uses of the "star" terminology, there is no longer any distinction made about the place or time or degree of hostility involved in the military service. For Gold Stars, the Department of Defense also makes a distinction about the manner and place of death, but some other organizations do not. The Gold Star term is also sometimes interpreted to apply to those missing in action and those who did not die during active service but died later as a result of an in-service injury. A lesser-known practice of using a silver star to indicate a service member that has been disabled is sometimes also followed, although this practice is not recognized in federal law. (en)
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http://purl.org/linguistics/gold/hypernym
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  • A service flag or service banner is a banner that family members of those serving in the United States Armed Forces can display. The flag or banner is officially defined as a white field with a red border, with a blue star for each family member serving in the Armed Forces of the United States during any period of war or hostilities in which the Armed Forces of the United States are engaged. A gold star (with a blue edge) represents a family member that died during service, regardless of cause of death. The deceased might have been killed in action, or died due to unrelated causes. (en)
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  • Service flag (en)
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