The blue star flag, designed during WWI by U.S. Army Captain Robert Queissner, became the unofficial symbol of a child in service. In January 1942, a newspaper article by Army Captain George Maines requested information regarding children serving in the armed forces – more than 1000 mothers responded.

In February 1942, the Blue Star Mothers of America was founded in Michigan. Chapters were quickly formed in Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Oregon, Iowa, Washington, California, Pennsylvania, and New York.

Each blue star on the flag represents a service member in active duty. A gold star is displayed if a service member is killed in action or dies in service.