The U.S. Department of Defense issues Gold Star Lapel Buttons to immediate family members of a fallen member of the military.
The pins, featuring a gold star on a purple circular background, are worn by spouses, parents, and children of service members killed in the line of duty.
The Gold Star Lapel Button also referred to as the Gold Star pin, is distributed to members of the immediate family of a fallen servicemember by the Department of Defense. The pin is distributed according to strict Department of Defense guidelines for service members who have lost their lives in a conflict or in support of certain military operations. The Gold Star has also appeared on flags, as was popular during WWII, which families would hang in the window to indicate that a loved one had been killed overseas. Gold Star Families, those included in this Registry, are individuals who have received the Gold Star Lapel Button from the Department of Defense for the sacrifice of their loved one.
You can research a service member or learn more here The National Gold Star Registry.