Wartime Tradition Reborn in the Heartland
By: Arnold Wyrick
(Anna-Jonesboro, IL)--They began back in World War I, as a sign to neighbors that you had a loved one serving in the military. They gained popularity during World War II. But they were forgotten about during the Korean War and Vietnam War. Now the tradition of hanging a Blue Star Service Banner in a families window of their home, is being renewed here in the Heartland, by Mary Ann Elben of Anna.
"Well I think it not only shows support for the individual that's in the service, but also for the family. Because they are making a sacrifice too," says Elben. She decided to hang one for her nephew who fly F-16's in the Air Force. "He has seen it and he just really thought it was a very neat idea. So that's where I got started with it," Elben said.
The Blue Star Service Banner was designed and patented by a US Army Captain Robert Queissner during World War I. The banner quickly became the symbol for Americans who had a child serving in the military. But it wasn't until World War II that the US Department of War issued specifications on who and how the banners could be displayed. Now anyone with a family member on active duty in the military can display a banner in a window of their home.
They come with a single blue star in the middle of a white background, flanked by two bans of red, then gold frill is stitched across the bottom and pointed tip staff is inserted through the top of the banner. It's a longstanding war tradition that's gaining a rebirth families in the Heartland. "All though there's some people that are against the war. I think the majority of people regardless of how they feel about the war, want to support their troops," says Elben.