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U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Burial flags to honor Veterans and Reservists

We provide a United States flag to drape on a casket (or coffin) or place with an urn in honor of the military service of a Veteran or Reservist. Find out how to apply for this burial honor.

Am I eligible for a burial flag?

You can get a burial flag if you’re the next of kin or a close friend of the Veteran or Reservist and any one of the descriptions below is true for that person.

One of these must describe the service of the Veteran or Reservist. They:

  • Served in wartime, or
  • Died while serving on active duty after May 27, 1941, or
  • Served after January 31, 1955, or
  • Served in peacetime and left military service before June 27, 1950, after serving at least 1 enlistment, or because of a disability that was caused—or made worse—by their active military service, or
  • Served in the Selected Reserves (in certain cases), or served in the military forces of the Philippines while in service of the United States and died on or after April 25, 1951. For more information on either of these situations, call 800-827-1000, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET.

How do I get a burial flag to honor a Veteran or Reservist?

To get a burial flag, fill out the Application for United States Flag for Burial Purposes (VA Form 27-2008).
Download VA Form 27-2008 (PDF)

Bring the application form to:

  • A funeral director, or
  • A VA regional benefit office, or
  • A United States post office. Call ahead to make sure your local post office has burial flags. If they don’t, they can direct you to one that does.

How do I care for the flag?

Follow these guidelines to care for the flag:

  • To protect the flag from weather damage, don’t leave it outside for long periods of time.
  • Use and display the flag carefully so it can’t be damaged in any way.
  • Don’t add or attach any words or symbols or other kinds of drawings to the flag.
  • Don’t use the flag to hold or carry anything.

On the last page of the Application for United States Flag for Burial Purposes, you can read more about how to care for a burial flag. You can also see how the flag will be displayed and then folded at a memorial service.
Read more about burial flags on the last page of the application (PDF)

What else should I know about burial flags?

The Veteran’s family can donate the flag to a national cemetery that has an Avenue of Flags so it can be flown on patriotic holidays.

We can’t replace flags that are lost, destroyed, or stolen, but some Veterans organizations may be able to help you get a replacement if something happens to the flag we gave you.

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