The Gold Star

During the First World War, in May 1918, President Woodrow Wilson approved the suggestion of the Women's Committee of National Defenses recommending that American women should wear a black band on the upper left arm adorned with a gold star. Each star representing a family member who had given his or her life for their country. President Woodrow Wilson first used the term "Gold Star Mother" in his Letter to the Women's Committee. Grace D. Seibold, who lost her son, 1st Lieutenant George Seibold, in France, is recognized as the first “Gold Star” mother.
On June 4, 1928 a group of 25 mothers in Washington, DC, made plans to begin a national organization to be known as “American Gold Star Mothers, Inc.” The nonpolitical and nonprofit organization was incorporated on Jan 5, 1929.
The ninety-eighth U.S. Congress on June 12, 1984, granted the Gold Star Mothers, a Federal Charter. The last Sunday of September has officially been declared Gold Star Mothers Day.
The blue and gold star banner tradition began in WW I when white Service Flags bordered in red were displayed from homes, business, schools and churches to indicate, by the use of a blue star, each active service member in the U.S. Military. A gold star indicated those who had given their lives for their country.
This tradition has continued through World War II, the Korean War and up through the present day.
 
President Woodrow Wilson
1913-1921
Grace D. Seibold
First Gold Star Mother
The Sullivan Brothers
Gold Star Flag
The Gold Star flag of the Sullivan family in Waterloo displayed a gold star for each of the five brothers, Joseph, Frank, Albert, Madison & George, lost in the sinking of the cruiser, USS Juneau on Nov 12, 1942.

The current US Navy destroyer DDG-68 The Sullivans, was launched on 12 August 1995. It was sponsored by Kelly Sullivan Lounghren, granddaughter of Albert Leo Sullivan and commissioned on 19 April 1997 at Staten Island, New York.

The motto of the ship, honoring the five Sullivan brothers is, “We Stick Together.”