Burial Flags and Presidential Memorial Certificates
To honor the military service of a deceased Veteran or Reservist, we provide the next of kin or a close friend a United States flag to drape on the casket (or coffin) or to place with the urn. We also provide a Presidential Memorial Certificate (PMC). Find out how to get one or both of these honors.
Can I get a burial flag?
You can get a burial flag if you’re the next of kin or a close friend of the deceased, and any one of the descriptions below is true for that person.
One of these must describe the service of the Veteran or Reservist:
- Served in wartime, or
- Died while serving on active duty after May 27, 1941, or
- Served after January 31, 1955, or
- Served in peacetime and left military service before June 27, 1950, after serving at least 1 enlistment, or because of a disability that was caused—or made worse—by their active military service, or
- Served in the Selected Reserves (in certain cases) or served in the military forces of the Philippines while in service of the United States. For more information on either of these situations, call 1-800-827-1000, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. (ET).
How do I get a flag?
To get a burial flag, fill out the Application for United States Flag for Burial Purposes (VA Form 27-2008).
Download VA Form 27-2008.
Bring the application form to:
- A funeral director, or
- A VA regional benefit office, or
- A United States post office. Call ahead to make sure your local post office has burial flags.
How do I display and care for the flag?
To protect the flag from weather damage, don’t leave it outside for long periods of time.
Find out how to display and fold the flag.
The Veteran’s family can also donate the flag to a national cemetery that has an Avenue of Flags so that it can be flown on patriotic holidays.
We can’t replace flags that are lost, destroyed, or stolen, but some Veterans organizations may be able to help if something happens to the flag we gave you.
Can I get a Presidential Memorial Certificate?
A Veteran’s next of kin or family member can get a PMC, which is an engraved paper certificate signed by the current president. We give the PMC in memory of a deceased Veteran who’s eligible for burial in a national cemetery. You can apply for it in person at any VA regional office. Or, you can fill out and mail a PMC request form, along with a copy of the Veteran’s death certificate and discharge papers (DD214 or other separation documents).
Download a PMC request form.
Send the PMC request form and discharge papers to:
Memorial Products Service (41B)
Department of Veterans Affairs
5109 Russell Road
Quantico, VA 22134-3903
- You can also fax the form to 1-800-455-7143. If you need help, call 1-800-697-6947.