World War II (detail from Pearl Harbor photo)

A Star in the Window

Reviving a practice started during World War I, millions of U.S. families—one in five—displayed blue-star flags in the front windows of their homes. Each star proclaimed a son or daughter in military service. Many families displayed more than one flag or a flag with multiple stars. Each star symbolized a family’s love, pride, worry, and hope. If a loved one was killed, a gold star covered or took the place of the blue one, making known an individual’s sacrifice and a family’s loss. Service flags reminded passersby of the enormity and human cost of the war effort.

Blue Star mother
“My Star Has Changed to Gold”

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