This definition of "Americanism” was originated by the Commanders-in-Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, United Spanish War Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, the National Commanders of the American Legion and the Disabled American Veterans of the World War at a conference held in Washington, D.C., in February 1927: "Americanism is an unfailing love of country; loyalty to its institutions and ideals; eagerness to defend it against all enemies; undivided allegiance to the Flag; and a desire to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and posterity.”
Patriotic Instructors
The Patriotic Instructor educates members about the proper salute to the U.S. Flag, as well as the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. He or she also takes the time to understand the VFW Auxiliary Ritual and the Federal Flag Code. He or she helps members to understand the traditions and ceremonies of the organization. The Understanding Auxiliary Traditions help sheet and video are available on the website at 
Flag Education
A large part of showing Americanism and demonstrating patriotic spirit is respecting and properly caring for the U.S. Flag. Flag etiquette covers everything from proper display of our Flag to acceptable conduct around this symbol of our nation. For more information about Flag etiquette, the history of our Flag and to read the U.S. Flag Code, visit Respect for the Flag - Engaging the Community
• Flag Education in Schools – Educating our youth about patriotism is an important step on the path to good citizenship. Encourage members of your Auxiliary to volunteer in schools and educate youth on the importance of respecting our Flag. Volunteers can visit individual classrooms or give a presentation at a school assembly. For more resources, visit
• Recognition of Outstanding Community Flag Display – When a community member, business or organization takes the care and time to display our "Stars and Stripes,” it reinforces patriotism to the entire community. You may recognize this display of patriotism by presenting a certificate of appreciation from your Auxiliary.
• Flag Retirement Ceremonies – These ceremonies honoring our Flag serve as one of the most beautiful forms of respect for our country. This is the perfect way to involve the whole family of Auxiliary and VFW members. Flag retirement ceremonies can also serve as an event involving the entire community. For more information on this and other Flag etiquette, visit community/flag-etiquette.
Promote Patriotism

Celebrating Patriotic Holidays Patriotic holidays are an opportune time to involve the whole family and bring community attention to your Auxiliary. When fun family events are presented to the community, prospective new members will walk through your door. Patriotic holidays can serve as the perfect way to show that your Auxiliary supports patriotism, veterans and their families as a top priority. For more information about patriotic days and ways to celebrate, visit
Military Flags
Order of Precedence According to Department of Defense guidelines, military service flags, insignias, etc., should be displayed in the following order (left to right as you face the flags): Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Space Force and Coast Guard.
Star Family Recognition
You may have seen a Blue Star, Gold Star or Silver Star service flag or service banner in the window of a home in your area. A service flag or service banner is a banner approved by the Secretary of Defense that family members of those serving in the United States Armed Forces can display.
Blue Star Families can display a flag or banner with a white field and a red border, with a blue star for each family member serving in the United States Armed Forces during any period of war or hostilities.
Gold Star Families can display a flag or banner with a white field and a red border, with a gold star that represents a family member who died during military operations.
Silver Star Families can display a flag or banner with a blue field with an outer red and inner white border, with a silver star that represents a family member who was injured, wounded or became ill during or as a result of combat.
You are encouraged to recognize and honor these families in your community.