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04-04-2005, 10:10
First Medal of Honor flag to be presented
By Eric W Cramer
The new Medal of Honor flag will be presented to the Sgt. 1st Class Paul Smith's family. It's field replicates the pattern of stars found on the Medal of Honor.

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, March 29, 2005) -- When Sgt. 1st Class Paul Smith’s family receives his Medal of Honor, they will receive a new item that will be given to all future recipients of the medal – a Medal of Honor flag.

The flag consists of a field of blue, with 13 stars arranged in the same formation that the stars appear on the Medal of Honor ribbon. It is fringed with gold.

The design was the brainchild of Sarah LeClerc of the U.S. Army Institute of Heraldry. A panel of eight members made of representatives from each Service (Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard), one Office of Secretary Defense staff, one historian and one representative from the Medal of Honor Society was formed to review and evaluate all designs submitted and make a final recommendation to the Principal Deputy to the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness.

“Several of us in the Creative Section worked on the design,” LeClerc said. “I wanted to the simplicity of the 13 stars on a blue field.”

LeClerc said her initial design also contained a canton, similar to the canton containing the stars on the U.S. national flag. On her original design, the canton of red and white stripes, contained the word “valor” as it appears on the Medal of Honor. The committee asked if the canton could be removed.

“They felt the design was better without the canton. We said that as it is an Army design, we can change it however you want, and so we removed it,” said Pam Madigan an industrial specialist with the Institute of Heraldry.

A law created in October 2002, called for the creation of the flag, and the institute solicited designs via an announcement in the Federal Registry, Madigan said.

“It didn’t take long for the committee to make a selection. The meeting only lasted four hours, and they asked me if we could remove the canton. They decided to go with Sarah’s ribbon design, with gold fringe,” Madigan said.