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Burial Flag


The term “Burial Flag” refers to an American flag provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to drape the casket of a deceased veteran or a service member who served honorably in the U.S. armed forces. This flag is meant to honor the individual’s service and commemorate their memory. After the funeral service, the flag is traditionally folded and presented to the veteran’s family as a keepsake.

Key Takeaways

  1. A Burial Flag is a United States flag provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to drape the casket or accompany the urn of a deceased veteran, honoring their service to the country.
  2. Eligibility for a Burial Flag includes veterans who served during wartime, peacetime, retired reservists with 20+ years of service, and members of the Selected Reserve.
  3. Family members can obtain a Burial Flag by applying at any VA Regional Office, US Post Office, or US National Cemetery. Flags are issued with a signed flag application form (VA Form 27-2008) and a copy of the veteran’s discharge papers (DD Form 214).


The VA benefits term “Burial Flag” is important because it represents a significant honor and tribute to the deceased veterans who have served their country with dedication and bravery.

When a veteran passes away, they are eligible to receive a United States burial flag that is draped over their casket during the funeral ceremony, symbolizing their service and patriotism.

This flag is then ceremoniously folded and presented to the next of kin as a token of the nation’s gratitude for their loved one’s commitment and sacrifice.

By providing a burial flag, the Department of Veterans Affairs ensures that the memory and valor of the veteran are recognized and honored, offering a tangible reflection of the nation’s appreciation for the veteran’s service to their country.


The Burial Flag, as a symbol of honor and gratitude, serves the purpose of recognizing the military service of deceased veterans and their ultimate sacrifice for their nation. Used during burial ceremonies, the flag demonstrates the respect and appreciation that the country has for its fallen heroes.

Displaying the flag during these solemn moments also acts as a comforting reminder for the bereaved families, showcasing the pride and dignity associated with their loved one’s service. In practice, the Burial Flag is draped over the casket or used to accompany the urn of the deceased veteran throughout the funeral services.

The flag is then ceremoniously folded, embracing the significance of the individual’s service, before it is presented to the next of kin as a token of remembrance. This simple yet powerful gesture of gratitude seeks to provide solace and preserve the memory of the veteran’s commitment to safeguarding the freedoms and values held dear by their fellow citizens.

Examples of Burial Flag

A Burial Flag, also known as a U.S. Interment Flag, is a U.S. flag provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs to drape over the casket or accompany the urn of a deceased individual who has served honorably in the United States Armed Forces.

World War II Veteran’s Funeral: At the funeral of a World War II veteran, the casket is draped with a Burial Flag. This symbolizes the recognition and appreciation for the veteran’s service and sacrifice in defending the United States and its ideals during a crucial time in history.

Vietnam War Veteran’s Memorial Service: During a memorial service for a Vietnam War veteran, a Burial Flag is displayed next to the urn containing the veteran’s ashes. The flag serves as a reminder that the deceased had honorably served their country and had been part of the nation’s fight against foreign aggression.

National Cemetery Burial Service: At military burials in national cemeteries across the United States, a Burial Flag is draped over the deceased veteran’s casket. After the service, the flag is carefully folded into a triangular shape and presented to the family as a token of gratitude and respect for their loved one’s service to the nation.

FAQs: Burial Flag Benefits

What is a burial flag?

A burial flag, also known as a United States Interment Flag or Memorial Flag, is a standard-sized American flag provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to honor and memorialize the service of deceased veterans upon their passing.

Who is eligible for a burial flag?

Eligible veterans include those who have served in the Armed Forces and were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. Additionally, veterans who have completed at least one period of enlisted or commissioned service may be eligible.

How do I apply for a burial flag?

To apply for a burial flag, you will need to complete VA Form 27-2008, ‘Application for United States Flag for Burial Purposes.’ This form can be found on the VA website or obtained at any VA regional office, local post office, or funeral home.

How is the burial flag used in a veteran’s funeral?

The burial flag is used to drape the casket or accompany the urn of the deceased veteran during the funeral service. It is typically folded in a triangle pattern, symbolizing the tricorn hat worn by colonial soldiers during the Revolutionary War, and presented to the next of kin or a close family member following the service.

Can the burial flag be replaced if it is lost, destroyed, or stolen?

In cases where the burial flag has been lost, destroyed, or stolen, the VA can provide a replacement flag. A request for a replacement flag needs to be submitted through VA Form 21-2008, along with any available supporting documents or evidence of the flag’s loss, destruction, or theft.

Related VA Benefit Terms

  • Gravesite Decoration
  • Military Honors
  • Veteran Memorial
  • Casket Flag
  • VA National Cemetery

Sources for More Information