Blue Star & Gold Star Families Memorials

 
CGCI Co-Chairman:  George Unrine, george.unrine@gmail.com 
Co-Chairman:  Shirley Lipa, slipa29@att.net
 
The Blue Star Memorials are a tribute to the
United States Armed Forces.
The Blue Star became an icon in World War II and was seen on flags and banners in homes for sons and daughters away at war, as well as in churches and businesses. The program continues today.
Gold Star Families Memorial Markers (NEW)
The Gold Star seen on flags and banners signifies a family member lost in service to the country.  The Gold Star Families Memorial Markers is an adjunct to the Blue Star project and follows the same guidelines.  The Blue Star on the memorial is replaced with a Gold Star.

History 

 
The Banner
  • Since WWI, a Blue Star Banner displayed in the front window of a home told others that a family member was serving in the Armed Forces. Captain Robert B. Quiesser, an Ohio National Guard veteran of the Mexican Border, (1916) is credited with designing the original flag.
  • In 1917 the Congressional Record stated: "The world should know of those who give so much for liberty. The dearest thing in all the world to a father and mother - their children."
  • Also known as the Service Flag, the blue stands for hope and pride.
  • When service members lost their lives, the blue star was replaced with a gold one representing the sacrifice.
  • A silver star stood for someone invalided home for wounds sustained overseas. 
  • The flag made its appearance again in WWII. On October 17, 1943, Congress authorized the flag which was approved as an official design.
  • Although the service flags virtually vanished during the Korean and Vietnam wars, they appeared again during the Persian Gulf War in 1991, the Iraq War and the War on Terror.
The National Program:
  • The program began with the planting of 8,000 Dogwood trees by the New Jersey Council of Garden Clubs in 1944 as a living memorial to veterans of World War II.
  • In 1945, the National Council of State Garden Clubs (now NGC) adopted the program and began a Blue Star Highway system, which covers thousands of miles across the Continental United States, Alaska and Hawaii. A large metal Blue Star Memorial Highway Marker was placed at appropriate locations along the way. 
  • The program was expanded to include all men and women who had served, were serving or would serve in the armed services of the United States.
  • Memorial Markers and By-Way markers were added in 1994 to the Highway Markers, to be used at locations such as National cemeteries, parks, veteran's facilities and gardens.
  • Since its inception, garden clubs have dedicated nearly 3,000 memorials and markers.

California Blue Stars

 
  • In 1947 California adopted the program and highways 40 and 99 were dedicated.
  • There are now three types of markers available
    • Highway markers,
    • By-way markers
    • Memorial markers.
      • The memorial markers approved in 1994 are to be placed at National Cemeteries or V.A. Medical Centers.
      • In 2004 NGC by-laws were changed to allow this newest marker to be placed at state veterans hospitals, cemeteries where veterans are buried and other sites, after permission of the national chairman.
    • Even though the existing three marker types have been redesigned, they still reflect the purpose chosen by members of the National Council; which was to honor members of the Armed Forces and to beautify our country.
    • For more information about the Blue Star Memorial Highways in California, please see the Caltrans site.
A few of the California Blue Stars...
       

Ordering & Pricing 

 
Blue & Gold Star Memorial Pricing: Effective May 1, 2016
Prices subject to change - check with the CGCI Blue Star Chairman
 

Donations & Grants

CGCI supports the Blue Star Memorials Project by encouraging member clubs and districts to sponsor markers in their area and assisting them with information on how to order a marker and install it.
In addition, CGCI created a Blue Star Memorials Board Designated Restricted Fund.
Individuals, clubs and districts are encouraged to donate to this fund which in turn can provide financial support to clubs and districts wishing to sponsor a marker.
Clubs and districts may request a grant from the Blue Star Memorials Restricted Fund.
Grants of one hundred dollars ($100) are available for by-way markers and grants of three hundred and fifty dollars ($350) are available for highway and memorial markers.
 
Donate Online (NEW: donate using credit/debit card or personal PayPal account)
Donation Form (Mail with check)