What Does F.C.L. on a Military Grave Marker Mean?

grave marker with flagOne of the ways family and friends honor fallen members of the military is by placing a veteran grave marker or medallion at their grave site. While the design varies, these military grave markers are typically made of bronze, aluminum or hard plastic, and are mounted on a ground stake, or rod. Many also include a place to hold an American stick flag.

Grave Markers with F.C.L. Insignia

War of 1776 Grave Marker with FCL

Grave markers have different insignias to represent the various branches of the military, as well as specific wars and other distinguishing characteristics. One such insignia is the use of the initials F.C.L., which can be found on this veteran grave marker, as well as this War of 1776 grave marker.

The acronym stands for “Fraternity, Charity & Loyalty” – the three guiding principles of the Grand Army of the Republic. Also known simply as GAR, the Grand Army of the Republic is a fraternal organization of veterans of the Union Army who served in the American Civil War.

The Grand Army of the Republic and “Fraternity, Charity & Loyalty”

Following the Civil War, a number of state and local organizations were formed for veterans to network and keep in touch with each other. Initially established for camaraderie, these groups later gained significant political power. The most influential organization between 1868 and 1908 was the Grand Army of the Republic.

Founded in 1866, the GAR was based on the principles of “Fraternity, Charity & Loyalty”. Fraternity represented the brotherhood of those who served together, Charity referred to the organization’s work to ensure the well-being of veterans, widows and children of veterans, and Loyalty to the Constitution and the American flag.

During its tenure, the GAR helped elect several United States presidents, from Ulysses S. Grant to William McKinley. The organization was also active in pension legislation and establishing retirement homes for soldiers. In fact, the GAR’s influence led to the creation of the Old Soldiers’ Homes of the late nineteenth century, which later evolved into the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

After the death of the organization’s last member, Albert Woolson, in 1956, the Grand Army of the Republic was formally dissolved. However, the principles on which it was founded still hold significance today.

Grave Markers Made in the USA

Gettysburg Flag Works carries a variety of grave markers for all branches of military service, as well as specific wars and conflicts. Shop our collection of grave markers and military medallions online, or contact us for a custom quote.

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