Recently, you may have noticed a new flag flying with the American Flag at the Norwood Fire Department. The flag being flown is the American Service Flag. The flag or banner is defined as a white field with a red border, with a blue star for each family member serving in the Armed Forces of the United States during any period of war or hostilities in which the Armed Forces of the United States are engaged.
These flags were first used in World War I, with subsequent standardization and codification by the end of World War II. They were not popular during the Vietnam War, but have come back into use. In modern usage, an organization may fly a service flag if one of its members is serving on active duty.
There are up to 10 official different types of stars, depending on different status of the military service member, including prisoners of war and service members who are missing in action. Most of the colors are no longer in commission. There are three main colors, however.
The most prevalent is the blue star for enlisted service members. A gold star outlined in blue is for a service member who died in service. The star is the same size as a regular blue star. A gold star takes the place of honor above all other stars. A silver star, usually less typical, is utilized for service members discharged for wounds.
It is with honor that the Norwood Fire Department flies the American Service Flag for Firefighter/EMT Joseph Mawn as he begins his deployment to Afghanistan with the United States Army.
Firefighter Mawn exemplifies the word service as he protects the people of Norwood on the fire department and his country with the Armed Forces. The Norwood Fire Department wishes FF Mawn a safe journey overseas and looks forward to his return after his tour of duty. BEST OF LUCK JOE!