Origin of the Gold Star Tradition

The Gold Star's inception is rooted in the Blue Star initiative, introduced by Army Captain Robert L. Queisser of Ohio's 5th Infantry during World War I in 1917. Captain Queisser, a father of two frontline soldiers, intended to honor the courage of all service members through the “Blue Star Service Banner”. This flag - white with a red border and a central blue star - symbolized each serving individual.

This sentiment quickly resonated, with many in Ohio showcasing similar banners to express solidarity and pride.

By September 1917, Ohio's Congressional Record officially acknowledged the banner, turning it into a beacon of support for military personnel and their kin.

The Council of National Defense's Women’s Committee suggested a gesture to pay tribute to those who had fallen: mothers donning black armbands with gold stars for each departed loved one. This idea was greenlit by President Woodrow Wilson in May 1918.

Evolving the Tradition: American Gold Star Mothers, Inc.

In 1928, 25 grieving mothers convened in Washington, D.C., founding the American Gold Star Mothers, Inc. Altering the blue-starred banners by overlaying gold stars, they aimed to immortalize the sacrifices of their lost kin.

Subsequently, in 1936, the last Sunday of September was decreed as "Gold Star Mother’s Day", a heartfelt tribute to mothers mourning their children's ultimate sacrifice.

Securing the Gold Star Designation

Wondering about the eligibility for a Gold Star license plate? The criteria differ across states. While some states extend this honor to grandparents, others restrict it to immediate family. It’s crucial to acquaint yourself with your state's specific guidelines.

In essence, the Gold Star's journey, evolving from the Blue Star initiative, underscores our profound gratitude towards our military heroes. The Gold Star Mothers remain the custodians of this legacy, ensuring that the ultimate sacrifices of their beloved are forever etched in our memories.