U.S. Army MWR

Gold Star and Next of Kin Pins

Gold Star Pins

Have you ever seen someone wearing one of the pins pictured above?  Do you know the meanings and the differences between the two pins?


Gold Star Lapel pins are presented to and worn by surviving spouses, parents and immediate family members of Armed Forces members killed in combat operations. The Gold Star pin is a gold star on a purple circular background.


Next of Kin Lapel Pins are presented to and worn by immediate Family members of United States Armed Forces members who die while serving outside of combat operations. The Next of Kin pin is a gold star on a gold background.




Gold Star Service Flag and the Blue Star Service Flag



Blue and Gold Star Flags



Maybe you’ve been behind a vehicle that had either of the flags above as a sticker on the bumper or the window. Perhaps you’ve seen either flag hanging from the front porch of a house while driving through a neighborhood. Do you know what these flags mean?

The Gold Star Service Flag is displayed in memory of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving our Nation. This flag is a white rectangular field bordered in red, with a gold star superimposed over a larger blue star so that the blue forms a border.  


The Blue Star Service Flag is a white rectangular field bordered in red, with a blue star or stars arranged horizontally. The number of blue stars corresponds to the number of Family members in U.S. Armed forces currently deployed during any war or conflict. Take time to thank the Families of service members who are separated from their loved ones while they are deployed.  


Click here for more information about the services and support the Army provides to Survivors.

When you meet someone wearing a Gold Star or Next of Kin pin or if you see a Gold Star Service Flag, remember behind the pins and flag lie stories of Fallen Soldiers and Strong Survivors. Take time to recognize, respect and honor all surviving Family members for their resilient spirit.

Visit the Gold Star Pins Site

Related Links: 

Coping with Grief  |  Installation Access for Gold Star Families  |  Tribute to Gold Star Families

Survivor Outreach Services

Army MWR Features Page

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