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
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.
You may apply for the flag by completing VA Form 27-2008, 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.
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.
The proper way to display the flag depends upon whether the casket is open or closed. VA Form 27-2008 does provide 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 (800) 827-1000 or visit the National Cemetery Administration’s web site.
Only one flag may be issued to the family member or friend identified on the VA Form 27-2008, Application for United State Burial Flag. Only one application may be completed for each deceased Veteran.
A number of companies manufacture flags to the general specifications for VA burial flags and the VA may not endorse a particular manufacturer nor be held responsible for the quality or correctness of a commercially purchased flag. VA Flags are manufactured to stringent standards using 100% US materials and construction.
A flag may be issued to a funeral director or anyone else who certifies by signature the eligibility of the deceased Veteran even if requested eligibility documentation is not attached.
Complete the Flag Application as completely as possible with all available information requested on the form and turn in the application to the post office as soon as possible following the death of the Veteran. The information provide helps the VA in the death notification process, easing the burden on family members as well as authorizing the post office to order a replacement flag ensuring availability to the funeral director for future requirements.
Return the flag to the post office from which it was received. The post office may replace the flag with another and return the defective flag to the VA for replacement.
Ask the post office to contact the VA Service and Distribution Center at the phone number or email account listed below and a VA Service Representative will ensure the post office is resupplied with sufficient flags to meet their needs. The VA does not supply flags directly to a funeral home but will always respond to calls or questions to ensure that burial flags are always available.
The current Flag Application is dated July 2012 and is available for downloading at http://www.vba.va.gov/pubs/forms/VBA-27-2008-ARE.pdf.