Blue Star Banners need a lift

“Some [banners] are torn, or faded, or really look worn. We are trying to make sure that those that need to be replaced get replaced.” — Lynette George, founder of the Blue Star Banner program in Kitsap County


Just about anywhere you travel in Kitsap County, you’ll see them. They’re a significant show of Kitsap County residents’ pride in our military. They’re the Blue Star Banners. But some of them have been hanging proudly since 2006. And they need to be replaced.

According to Lynette George, founder of the Blue Star Banner program in Kitsap County, a small group of volunteers have been working to get them replaced. “The wind here has really gotten to some of them,” she said. “Some are torn, or faded, or really look worn. We are trying to make sure that those that need to be replaced get replaced.”

But the process hasn’t been that easy. First, she said, they had to do an inventory of the banners and determine which needed replacing. Then, she had to contact the individual or the family of the military member honored on the banner.

“If they are still serving, we make arrangements to replace the banner,” she said. “If they’ve left the military, then, we send them their banner and we make room for someone new to have a banner.”

The banners, she explained, honor those currently serving. The one exception to that are the Gold Star Banners which honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and have given their life for their country.

There are 19 Gold Star banners in the area.

As far as the costs to replace the banners, George said the program has money to replace banners when family members cannot afford to. “We’ve received grants from the Kitsap Community Foundation and Port Madison Enterprises (an agency of the Suquamish Tribe) and we can help when help is needed,” she said.

The cost to replace each banner is $100. When each banner is originally purchased, each costs $350, but $200 of that is for the hardware to hang the banner, which doesn’t need to be replaced, she said.

Currently, there are 93 banners in Silverdale and at least 25 need to be replaced. In all, there are 367 banners throughout Kitsap, Mason, Clallam and Jefferson counties, with 112 in Port Orchard, 50 in Poulsbo, 49 in Bremerton, 11 in Kingston, nine in Seabeck, eight in Belfair, 11 in Port Angeles and five elsewhere in Jefferson County. Banners are being replaced throughout all of these locations. Her list includes one in Seabeck, one in Bremerton and five in Port Orchard.

When the banners were originally placed, much of the work was donated by WAVE Cable.

“They’ve been great to us,” she said. “But right now they’ve had so much work with storm damage that they aren’t able to do the replacement work.” And that’s where George is in need.

“We need volunteers who can help us hang the banners,” she said. “Preferably some company that has a bucket truck, or long ladders. Someone like a tree-trimming company or tree service would be great.”

In the past few months, George and one other volunteer have spent three eight-hour days doing what banner replacement they can, with the ladders they have. But she is hoping someone will come forward with a bucket truck and sign on to help. George began the Blue Star Banner program in Kitsap County after seeing a similar program in California. She is a Navy veteran and has two sons who served in the military.

George’s sons, Christopher Weimar, 31, of Seabeck, who served in the Army, and Wayne George, 33, of Longview,who was a Marine, both suffered psychological and physical injuries at war. They both have service-related disabilities. But George, who served in the Navy from 1981-85, considers herself lucky. “My sons came home,” she said. “I’m just so lucky.”

She also feels lucky to be a part of the banner program.

“I’ve met the most amazing people doing this,” she said. “That has made every step of this journey worth it.”

Anyone wanting to help her can call her at 360-440-6497, or email her at She also needs volunteers who can help log the banners and help her contact banner recipients to mail them their banners once they leave the service.

Go to the program website,, for information about how to purchase a banner for a loved one who is serving. There are options for purchasing smaller banners for automobiles, magnets and magnetic banners to hang at home.

All of the banners are made locally by Graphic Reflections in Port Orchard.

George is also looking for the family of Devon Gibbons, who is honored with a Gold Star banner in Kitsap County, to discuss replacement of his banner.