1. Why do we need this remembrance flag?
Men and women have been serving in the United States military and dying for our country for more than 200 years. They represent a unique and distinct category of individuals, along with the families that sent them, that deserve a symbol of recognition, a visual emblem of honor. Until the Honor and Remember Flag was conceived, there was no such nationally recognized symbol. As a nation we have flags that symbolize everything; each state has their own flag, every branch of the service has their own flag , the POW/MIA have their own flag, every veteran’s organization has their own flag, every college, high school, organization and so on. Yet the one single group that sacrificed to allow us to fly every flag freely have no public recognition. It is important that their lives and their families be specifically remembered and thanked.
The Honor and Remember Flag is not a replacement to our Stars and Stripes or to the POW/MIA flag, nor is it intended to diminish their meaning or stature. It was thoughtfully created to fill a void and complete the circle of tribute. With all three, we comprehensively and publicly give tribute to those veterans who served, those who are captured and need to be brought home, those who are still missing and need to be found and those we know who gave the ultimate sacrifice. Let none be forgotten.
2. Why now?
There are many reasons why it is important to establish the Honor and Remember Flag as a national symbol in this generation. The most important one is that there exists today the largest contingent of living veterans of any time in our history. These veterans comprise in large part one of the greatest groups of least honored soldiers in our history: the Vietnam War veterans. For those who lost their lives and their families, the Honor and Remember Flag serves as a way for the rest of us to express, perhaps belatedly, our gratitude for their sacrifice. It is important that all veterans rally in support of the Gold Star families to leave this lasting symbol of public thanks. There are not many opportunities in life to leave behind a national legacy, this is one.
3. Doesn’t the American flag honor the fallen?
The American flag is our umbrella that represents everything in this country. It actually takes on the context of wherever it is displayed, Public buildings, private homes, sports stadiums or caskets. But it does not stand for anything specific. Ask any citizen what it means to them and you will get a dozen different responses. Does it represent sacrifice? Absolutely! However, the American flag also stands for our constitution, the unity of our people, the diversity of our nation, the triumph of our accomplishments and the right to protest or to be burned. It is the symbol of freedom we die to preserve, rather than a tangible emblem to specifically honor those fallen. See the answer to question #1.
Our sons and daughters died to preserve its meaning but it does not particularly recognize them. Here is how the symbolism of the American flag was originally explained:
The U. S. flag consists of thirteen horizontal stripes, seven red alternating with 6 white. The stripes represent the original 13 colonies; the stars represent the 50 states of the Union. The colors of the flag are symbolic as well: Red symbolizes hardiness and valor; White symbolizes purity and innocence; Blue represents vigilance, perseverance and justice.
4. Who is being honored by this flag?
All those who have been killed in the “line of duty”. This statement can be defined as any military individual killed while serving or as a result of serving, from the moment our nation began. If you have put on a military uniform in service to the United States, you have given authority to superiors to place you in harm’s way. If in the course of doing one’s duty an individual lost their life, regardless of where or how, this flag is meant to honor that individual. This flag has a broader scope, honoring all those who by draft or volunteer have put themselves in a position to defend the constitution, the US flag and those freedoms which make our nation great. In other words, if someone was killed while guarding a border, standing on a ship’s deck, protecting an embassy or marching headlong into enemy fire, this flag honors them. This would include all military members who died from any lingering physical or emotional trauma such as agent orange or PTSD.
5. What does the flag design signify?
The Honor and Remember Flag was designed from both historic military and universal icons. The Red field symbolizes the sacrifice of blood shed; what better color than American Flag red. The White field below, the purity of that sacrifice. Each man and women serves with a pure heart and a willingness to lay down their lives at any moment. The Blue star in the center dates back to World War I when military families hung a solid blue star banner on their windows or doors representing a loved one on active duty. The Gold Star overlaying the Blue, again going back to WWI, signified that the loved one had been killed. The Folded Flag beneath the stars represents the flag that is handed to each family at the memorial service of their loved one. The Flames above are an eternal reminder that we will never forget. The Three Words below complete the tribute, we will always Honor their sacrifice and Remember them specifically by name.
6. What is the importance of the Honor and Remember flag?
This flag should be important to every citizen of the United States. Never before in the history our country have we realized how vulnerable we can be to the actions of those who would destroy us. Now more than ever, our fighting men and women deserve our recognition and our gratitude for standing in the way of those who would take away our liberty. We owe them, and particularly those who die and their families, honor and remembrance.
By flying the Honor and Remember Flag, we say to our fighting men and women and the families that love them, that we as Americans will never forget their contribution to our freedom. And we are mindful that at any time, any day another could be added to those ranks. Potentially any day, a blue star family can turn gold.
7. Why does the Honor and Remember Flag have a registered trademark?
Great question, the reason for anything to be copy written or trademarked is protection. When the Honor and Remember Flag was initially designed and accepted there needed to be a mechanism in place that would protect it from being altered or produced outside of the US. Additionally our organization exists to fulfill a very important three fold mission, Establish, Educate and Present. For this to be accomplished we must remain viable. In researching the creation and establishment of the POW flag we found that one of the missing elements of their effort was not protecting their design. The initial thought was to make sure that the POW flag flew everywhere, however by allowing the flag to fall into public domain they gave up all rights. Subsequently, not only did the design fluctuate but also all flag manufacturers were allowed to openly profit from the emblem. Today those flags are made all over the world, including China and Vietnam. The Nat’l League of families now are financially hindered in their ability to continue their humanitarian efforts effectively and have resorted to reaching out to the many manufacturers in the hopes of receiving donations. From the onset we did not want this to happen to Honor and Remember, therefore we initially licensed Annin and Co, the largest US maker of flags, as well as several others, to manufacture and distribute Honor and Remember Flags across the country, and yes our organization, in order to remain viable, receives a small portion of the proceeds. The trademark is not held in anyone’s name and everyone involved in design have legally released all rights. As a board-run non-profit organization we feel it is our obligation to protect this most honorable symbol and to inhibit it from being altered or produced outside the United States. We hope you agree.
8. How do I help get the flag flying?
There are four very important things you can do:
1. SIGN the Petition, If you haven’t already. Our goal is 1.6 million signatures, one supporter for each life lost in our nations’ history. Once that is achieved our hope is that the Department of Defense will support and Congress will enact a law officially recognizing the Honor and Remember Flag as a national symbol.
2. TALK about the flag. Tell everyone in your circle, including businesses about the website www.HonorandRemember.org and encourage them visit and sign the petition. Also please consider spreading the word through newsletters, emails, blogs or by linking to our website. Additionally send the press release link to any media locally or nationally to let them know about the campaign. We would welcome the opportunity for national attention including syndicated talk shows. Another very important action is to send a letter to your Senator or member of Congress telling them about the flag and the importance of national adoption. Currently there is federal legislation in process, HR546.
3. FLY the Honor and Remember Flag. Make it a part of your office or family’s traditions when you fly the American flag.
4. CONTRIBUTE. There are many expenses involved in conducting this national campaign. Any support you can give will help us to fulfill our mission. If every person who signs the petition gives just $5 it will enable us to meet a very important goal of providing flags to families who have lost their loved ones in military service.
9. Where do the donations go?
Honor and Remember, Inc. is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization. All sales and donations are applied to fulfilling the goals of the organization; encouraging congressional and state adoptions, national awareness and in particular, presenting families of the fallen with personalized flags. Our threefold mission is to Establish, Educate and Present. Expenses include both ongoing administrative responsibilities and the continuous communication of our national vision through every means possible; email, direct mail, personal meetings, awareness events, public speaking as well as hundreds of presentations in venues across the country. It is our benevolent and long term goal to facilitate the placement of a personalized flag in the hands of families who have lost a loved one in service to the United States. We have tens of thousands to reach and are focusing not only on the current War on Terror but as far back as WWII, Korea and Vietnam and everyone in between. We are making tremendous progress with very little resources, please help us continue our mission.