The American Legion Auxiliary Department of New York 7th District Juniors, in the spirit of ALA’s patriotic roots, made Blue Star Banners for the department’s ALA Empire Girls State Committee to present to citizens who have family members serving in the military.
Families are encouraged to display the banner in the window of a home when a loved one is serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.
The blue star represents one family member serving, and a banner can have up to five stars, according to The American Legion, which helped reintroduce the Blue Star Banner to Americans following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks by providing banners to military families across the nation. If the individual is killed in action or dies, a smaller gold star is placed over it. Gold stars are placed above the blue stars or to the top right of the flag, in the event a flag represents multiple servicemembers.
The Blue Star Service Banner was designed and patented in 1917 by World War I Army Capt. Robert L. Queisser of the 5th Ohio Infantry. His two sons served on the front line. His banner quickly became the unofficial symbol for parents with a child in active military service.
The ALA Juniors in New York also made Gold Star Banners for families of those who had given their lives for their country.
Juniors Kaylynn Hancock and MacKenzie McDaniels add blue and gold stars to white felt for the banners.
What You’ll Need:
- 9 x 12-inch piece of red felt
- 7 x 5.5-inch piece of white felt
- 3-inch stars (should have five points)
- 10-inch dowel
- About 18 inches of yarn or cord
- Hot glue gun or fabric glue
What to Do:
1) Fold the long side of the red felt down and glue it to make a pocket for the dowel to slide through (approximately 1 inch).
2) Center the white felt on the red; glue.
3) Place star(s) in the center of the white felt.
4) Place the dowel through the opening created in the beginning, and tie cord to each end.
5) Add a little glue so the cord doesn’t fall off the dowel.
This was originally published in the August Auxiliary magazine.