gold star wife

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A World War II-era service flag. The gold star indicates that the family displaying the flag had a relative in the United States armed forces killed in action, while the blue stars indicate two relatives on active duty.

From gold star ((attributively) relative of a United States soldier when the latter has been killed in action) + wife. Gold star refers to stars of that colour traditionally shown on service flags displayed by families of members of the U.S. armed forces.



gold star wife (plural gold star wives)

  1. (US military) The widow of a member of the United States armed forces who was killed in action.


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