Blue Star Service Flag

Like Dan, I am currently writing some encyclopedia entries for Dr. William Pencak. I just finished one on the Blue Star Mothers of America. For those of you who do not know, the tradition of hanging a blue star service flag in the window was started during World War I by a Captain Robert L. Queissner. Captain Queissner wanted to honor his two sons serving on the front lines in Europe. The blue, symbolizing hope and pride, turned to gold, manifesting sacrifice, when news arrived of a servicemen’s death. In February 1942, The Blue Star Mothers of America was formed amidst the fervor of World War II. They served, and continue to serve today, as a veterans support organization.

I was wondering if their were any similar traditions during the Civil War? I know their was the custom of keeping a lantern or candle lit in a window just in case a soldier returned home. I also know that many women served in hospitals and various support roles during the war. Were there any mother associations formed? or was there any public symbols indicating a loved one’s sacrifice?

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About Billy Whyte

Hello my name is William Whyte. I live in Nazareth, Pennsylvania with my wife, Susan, and my two children, Kylie and William. I am currently enrolled at East Stroudsburg University and scheduled to graduate with a Masters of Arts degree in History in the fall of 2008. I count the American Civil War, nineteenth century America, and World War II among my specific areas of historical interest. I hope to pursue a doctorate degree in history upon successful completion of a Masters Degree. I am currently employed with a major bank in the financial district of downtown New York and as an Adjunct Professor at a local community college. I’m a member of the OAH, AHA, and the Society for Civil War Historians. I love spending time with my family and traveling to Civil War battlefields, as well as other historical sites. I also enjoy fishing, hunting, reading, film, and New York Giants football. I hope to one day be a professor of history at a university or small college and to publish historical works.

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