VA provides an American flag for services, and a flag to be given to the next of kin or a close associate of the deceased, 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.
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.
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 2008 provides 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.
Most of the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) national cemeteries display an Avenue of Flags on patriotic holidays and during special events. The Avenues consist of burial flags donated by the families of deceased veterans and provide a unique visible tribute to all of our Nation's veterans.
A Certificate of Appreciation is presented to the donor for providing their loved ones' burial flag to a national cemetery.
Please contact the cemetery of your choice for information on how to donate a veteran's burial flag.