Its All About Flags and Honoring Heroes


Small flags posted by volunteers decorate veterans’ graves each Memorial Day.

John Hartvigsen

Memorial Day is all about the United States flag and about honoring those who have honored the flag.
The Colonial Flag Foundation shares this focus on the flag.  Our reason for existing centers on honoring heroes through display of the Stars & Stripes.  From our first massive display of 3,000 U.S. flags in 2001, our programs to honor individuals who have honored our flag with the display of  sponsored flags has spread to thousands of flag displays posted throughout the nation.  Our flag displays fit Memorial Day like a glove as we join with all Americans to observe the day.

Traditionally, the Stars & Stripes fly at half-staff from sunrise until noon on Memorial Day, and then like the three firefighters raising the flag at Ground Zero, the flags raise at noon to symbolize the hope offered by America’s future.

A Gigantic 78 by 150 foot U.S. flag placed on Intermountain Heath Center’s 15 story building honors our medical support heroes who fight to defeat COVID-19.

Americans include the Stars & Stripes in a full range of Memorial Day observances:

  • Volunteers at cemeteries all over the country place stick flags to mark burial plots of veterans to remember their service and sacrifices.
  • “As a mark of solemn respect,” the President ordered flags to fly at half-staff the three days of the weekend leading up to Memorial Day. We mourn for those who had died from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The Follow the Flag organization displayed a massive 78 by 150-foot U.S. flag on the wall of a 15-story regional hospital to honor medical professionals who have become heroes in their fight to end the pandemic.
  • More than a dozen Colonial Flag Foundations local host committees have posted hundreds of flags in community displays to honor heroes who have by their lives honored the flag.  These displays can be visited by either car or walking among the flags while keeping the six foot social distancing guidelines.

Impressed each year by the huge effort expended to post a large flag display, we have been doubly impressed this year.  Complicated by COVID-19 safety requirements volunteer in host cities have followed social distancing and sanitation guidelines while posting flags, and the formations of flags can be safely viewed by car.  Those walking by the flags can also do so safely.  However viewed, these inspiring flag displays honor heroes.

Visit our website ( ) to find a Healing Field® or Field of Honor® flag display in your area.  We can promise that a visit to one of our events will be a highlight of your Memorial Day.  Find how other communities that host events where you have friends, where your relatives live, or where you might have previously lived.  All these local committees have hosted events as a gift to their communities that are made possible by volunteers, event sponsors, sponsored flags and contributions.

An inspirational Colonial Flag Foundation Flag Display in Northampton, Massachusetts.

We have always had plenty of American heroes, but many more heroes have met the challenge in the wake of a pandemic.  Medical teams, first responders, transportation crews, warehouse and retail workers have earned our recognition and appreciation.  Sponsoring a flag to honor individuals or groups gives each flag sponsor the way to express your recognition and appreciation.  This also supports events that make everything possible.

Find how Old Glory is part our Memorial Day observances in your community.  Fly the flag at your home.  Teach family and friends Memorial Day’s meaning.  A retired U.S. Marine said, “After World War I and World War, the flags came out.  It is time for the flags to come out again.”  We couldn’t agree more.  The flag symbolizes our shared values, aspirations and unity.

It is worth repeating, Memorial Day and Colonial Flag Foundation events are all about the United States flag and honoring those who have honored the flag.

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