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City of Wylie employees, Hale-Combest American Legion Post 315, Wylie, Texas, and Wylie Chapter 4660 of Woodmen of the World are inviting Wylie residents with family members serving in the U.S. armed forces to apply for a Blue Star Banner. The program honors the American tradition of displaying a Blue Star Banner in a home's window when a loved one is serving.

Any family within Wylie city limits or with children attending Wylie ISD schools is eligible to receive a commemorative banner. Once the specifications are verified, the banner will be presented during a Wylie City Council meeting.

The Blue Star Banner was designed and patented in 1917 by World War I Army Capt. Robert L. Queisser of the 5th Ohio Infantry. His two sons served on the front line. His banner quickly became the unofficial symbol for parents with a child in active military service. During World War II, the Department of War issued specifications regarding the flag's manufacture along with guidelines about when the flag could be flown and by whom. Blue Star Banners were widely used during both world wars but were not embraced during the Korean or Vietnam wars with the same enthusiasm. Following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon Sept. 11, 2001, the American Legion worked to rekindle the public's spirit of pride in military men and women by providing banners to families across the nation.

The banner is an 8.5-by-14-inch white field with one or more blue stars sewn onto a red banner. The blue star represents one family member serving; a banner may have up to five stars. If an individual is killed or dies, a smaller golden star is placed over his or her star.

City employees, American Legion members and Woodmen of the World members urge all families whose loved ones are protecting Americans' way of life to apply for a Blue Star Banner. As an Ohio congressman read into the Congressional Record on Sept. 24, 1917, "The world should know of those who give so much for liberty ... the dearest thing in all the world to a father and mother: their children."

For an application, contact City of Wylie Human Resources Manager Lynn Fagerstrom at lynn.fagerstrom@wylietexas.gov or 972-516-6048.

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