Burial Flag to Who?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Flag Discussion' started by Frenchfamily2@fuse.net, May 13, 2008.

  1. Kimberly Herget

    Kimberly Herget New Member

    Thank you
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2016
  2. Hi,
    I want to ask about Military presudure in my situation. My father passed away from cancer 4 years ago but before he passed I had a conversation with him openly on speakerphone in front of his best friend, my husband, my brother in law and my adopted daughter. I wanted to have the flag when he passed but he wanted to follow military way first. He said it goes to his wife, my stepmother and then when she passes, it comes back to the blood family. It would of went to my oldest brother but because he was estranged from my dad, dad said it comes to me. Now, I just recently found out that my stepmother gave the flag to my stepbrother. My father had no children to my stepmother. Because it was not written that it comes to me but there were witnesses to him saying it comes to me after her passing, Should it legally come back to the blood line after her passing? The reason I ask, my stepmother now has cancer. Dad never wrote it because he said it is military presudure to follow bloodline if there is any? Is this correct??
     
  3. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    .....
    Hello, Crystal Rauch (Gusciora)!

    Welcome to the USA-FLAG-SITE Forums!

    The best answer that I could give you is to request that you read (or re-read) my initial reply (August 26, 2016) on the first page of this thread. I know that it does not DIRECTLY address the "problem" that you and your Family are experiencing, but I think that it might be able to give a general idea as to how to start to solve it. It's not perfect, and I am NOT a lawyer, but it might be a good starting point. And, besides, it's the best I can do right now!

    I sincerely wish you and your Family the best of luck in solving this problem and coming to some kind of compromise that will satisfy the greater number of you.

    Good Luck!

    Robin Hickman
    "Your Friendly Neighborhood Flag Man"
    Eugene, Oregon, USA.
    .....

     
  4. Question is, Should I get the flag when my stepmother passes away seeing how, no kids were born to my father n her?? Legally am I entitled to it? My dad wanted me to have it but not in writing for after she passes. I would fight for it if I have a chance but don't want to try if I dont.
    Thank you again!
     
  5. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    .....
    Hello, Crystal,

    I'm sorry, but I can't "legally" help you. I'm not a lawyer and I don't know what law or statute, if any, would apply. All I can offer is my own personal opinion, which is that the Flag should go to the oldest living "full-blooded" child, male or female, of your Father.

    You might try contacting your local "legal aid" office/society/organization. They are usually free, or very low-cost, and professional.

    Good Luck!

    Robin Hickman
    "Your Friendly Neighborhood Flag Man"
    Eugene, Oregon, USA.
    .....
     
  6. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    I agree with Robin that this is a legal question about inheritance, and doesn't have anything to do with the fact that the object in question is a flag. I don't believe that there is any flag-related law or custom that covers this kind of detail. The US Army Field Manual on Honors and Ceremonies just says that the funeral flag will be given to the "deceased's next of kin."
     
  7. CrystalPrincess1

    CrystalPrincess1 New Member

    My father was a US Navy Veteran, and he died in April 2017. As the eldest child, and a Navy wife, I had just naturally assumed I would receive the flag at the funeral. 15 minutes before we left, my sister informed me that she arranged for another family member to get the flag, and I had no say so. To say I was upset, would be an understatement, as that flag means more to me than all the family possessions. At the funeral, I acted as any Navy wife would, with honor, and did not make a scene. I learned my uncle had no idea that he was to receive the flag, nor is he aware of the contention. I feel that this has not just dishonored me, but that it was a betrayal to all military families and service men and women. The flag is in another state now, and is going to be used as a flag at a community center. Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't that against regulations too? I thought these flags were to be permanently retired.


    So my question is, has anyone ever heard of passing over the female children (no sons) and giving the flag to the oldest surviving military family member, without the eldest child's consent?

    Thanks.
     
  8. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    Hi, CrystalPrincess1 -- welcome to our forum!

    Unfortunately, the straight answer is that there is no regulation that deals with your situation. Military regs just say that the flag will be given to "next of kin" at the funeral. There is a manual published by the "Military Salute Project" (http://militarysalute.proboards.com/) that provides a detailed order of precedence for inheriting a burial flag; those rules are described in an earlier post in this thread. However, that is basically just someone's opinion and has no official standing. From a legal perspective, it's up to the family to determine who will receive the flag.

    That same manual does say that burial flags should be retired. Again, that has no official standing. For what it's worth, I disagree with that particular opinion. The flag is a tangible symbol of the cause that a veteran served. I think that the best way to honor his/her memory is to fly the flag (e.g., on Memorial Day) or display it in an appropriate setting.

    I wish we could give you a better answer, and I hope that you'll be able to work this out with your family in some way. Keep us posted!
     
  9. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    .....
    Good morning, CrystalPrincess1,

    Welcome to the USA-FLAG-SITE Forums.

    I'm sorry for the loss of your Father.

    As I have written earlier, I am NOT a lawyer (and I don't play one on TV), so I can give you no "legal" advice on this (or any other) issue. However, I can share with you my opinions on it.

    At this point, since your Father's funeral has already taken place and his burial Flag has already been "presented to his next of kin" (a "fait accompli"), the question of "who should get his burial Flag" has become a moot point. If you've read my earlier contributions to this particular thread regarding this kind of "issue", then you probably have a pretty good idea as to how I stand on it.

    Interment Flags (AKA: funeral, or burial, or casket, or coffin Flags, etc.) primary purpose is to "honor" the deceased person, usually an "Active Duty" or "Veteran" of a military or civilian "Service", at their funeral or memorial service. To my knowledge, there is no Flag-related rule, regulation, protocol, or matter of etiquette that decrees that an Interment Flag should be "permanently retired" after it has been used at a funeral or memorial service. The reality, as near as I can tell, is that after the funeral service, the Flags may be used for any purpose the owner decides on.

    However, in this case there might be a little "wiggle room" for you to work with to possibly get your Father's Flag into your possession.

    Assuming that you've already tried the simplest and most direct action of asking your Uncle for your Father's Flag, and your Uncle declined, please consider the following.

    Interment Flags are usually 5'x9½ feet in size, and are almost always made of COTTON. COTTON Flags do NOT last very long when they are flown on a daily basis, especially if the weather conditions aren't cool, calm, and dry. NYLON Flags fly a LOT better in almost all weather conditions AND they last a LOT longer!

    Perhaps you can contact (quickly) your Uncle and ask him to hold off on donating your Father's Flag to the Community Center. Offer to trade him a brand new 5'x8' (less expensive than a 5'x9½' Flag) NYLON American Flag for your Father's COTTON burial Flag? The MSRP for American-made U.S. Flags is around the $75-$85 range, but you might get a little better price on eBay. If he has already donated the Flag, maybe you can contact the Community Center directly and offer them the same trade: a brand new NYLON Flag that will fly better and last longer than your Father's COTTON Flag?

    I don't know if my idea would give you enough "wiggle room" to make a deal that gets you your Father's Flag, or not. But if there is no other options available, why not try it?

    Anyway, I wish you all the best, and I hope you succeed in gaining possession of your Father's Interment Flag!

    Good Luck!

    Robin Hickman
    "Your Friendly Neighborhood Flag Man"
    Eugene, Oregon, USA.
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