Note: The flag cannot be replaced if it is lost, destroyed, or stolen.
Additionally, a flag may not be issued after burial unless it was
impossible to obtain a flag in time to drape the casket or accompany the
urn before burial. If the next-of-kin or friend is requesting the flag after
the veteran's burial, he or she must personally sign the application and
explain in Item 15 "Remarks" the reason that prevented timely
application for a burial flag.
B. How do I apply for a burial flag?
Complete VA Form 27-2008, and submit it to a funeral director or a
representative of the veteran or other organization having charge of the
funeral arrangements or acting in the interest of the veteran. You may
get a flag at any VA regional office or U.S. Post Office. When burial is
in a national, State or military post cemetery, a burial flag will be
D. Who is not eligible for a burial flag? (Continued)
• Persons who served with any of the forces allied with the
United States in any war, even though United States citizens,
if they did not serve with the United States armed forces.
• Persons inducted for training and service who, before entering
such training and service were transferred to the Enlisted
Reserve Corps and given a furlough.
• Former temporary members of the United States Coast Guard
A. How can I contact VA if I have questions?
If you have questions about this form, how to fill it out, or about
benefits, contact your nearest VA regional office. You can locate the
address of the nearest regional office in your telephone book blue pages
under "United States Government, Veterans" or call 1-800-827-1000
(Hearing Impaired TDD relay line is 711). You may also contact VA by
Internet at https://iris.custhelp.va.gov/.
F. Who is eligible to receive a burial flag?
Only one flag may be issued for each deceased veteran. Generally, the
flag is given to the next-of-kin as a keepsake after its use during the
funeral service. The flag is given to the following person(s) in the order
of precedence listed:
• surviving spouse
• children, according to age
• parents, including adoptive, stepparents, and foster parents
• brothers or sisters, including brothers or sisters of half blood
• uncles or aunts
• nephews or nieces
• others, such as cousins or grandparents
Note: When there is no next-of-kin, VA will furnish the flag to a friend
making a request for it. If there is no living relative or one cannot be
located, and no friend requests the flag, it must be returned to the nearest
C. Who is eligible for a burial flag?
Generally, veterans with an other than dishonorable discharge.
Note: This includes veterans who served in the Philippine
military forces while such forces were in the service of the U.S.
armed forces under the President's Order of July 26, 1941 and
died on or after April 25, 1951, and veterans who served in
the Philippine military services are eligible for burial in a
Veterans who were entitled to retired pay for service in the
reserves, or would have been entitled to such pay but not for
being under 60 years of age.
Members or former members of the Selected Reserve
(Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, or Naval
Reserve; Air National Guard; or Army National Guard) who
served at least one enlistment or, in the case of an officer, the
period of initial obligation, or were discharged for disability
incurred or aggravated in line of duty, or died while a member
of the Selected Reserve.
D. Who is not eligible for a burial flag?
Veterans who received a dishonorable discharge.
• Members of the Selected Reserve whose last discharge from
service was under conditions less favorable than honorable.
• Peacetime veterans who were discharged before June 27, 1950
and did not serve at least one complete enlistment or incur or
aggravate a disability in the line of duty.
• Veterans who were convicted of a Federal capital crime and
sentenced to death or life imprisonment, or were convicted of
a State capital crime and sentenced to death or life
imprisonment without parole, or were found to have committed
a Federal or State capital crime but were not convicted by
reason of not being available for trial due to death or flight to
• Discharged or rejected draftees, or members of the National
Guard, who reported to camp in answer to the President's call
for World War I service but who, when medically examined,
were not finally accepted for military service.
• Persons who were discharged from World War I service prior to
November 12, 1918, on their own application or solicitation by
reason of being an alien, or any veterans discharged for alienage
during a period of hostilities.
E. What documentation is required in order to receive a burial flag?
Provide a copy of the veteran's discharge documents that shows service
dates and the character of service, such as DD Form 214, or verification
of service from the veteran's service department or VA. Various
information requested, is considered essential to the proper processing of
the application. Ensure these areas are completed as fully as possible.
Note: If the claimant is unable to provide documentary proof, a flag may
be issued when a statement is made by a person of established character
and reputation that he/she personally knows the deceased to have been a
veteran who meets the eligibility criteria.
VA FORM 27-2008, APR 2021