Here's an interesting article about the Air Force flying flags... usually US flags, but not always... on missions over The AF. A couple of excerpts:
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - Whether a unique thank you, patriotic souvenir, or solemn reminder more than 3,000 flags have been flown over the skies of Afghanistan by the combined aircraft of the 451st AEW over the past six months.
The wing, through its Operations Support Squadron, carries flags on routine missions over Afghanistan. It's an additional duty that aircrew have willingly accepted and anyone can submit any flag to be flown.
"We've had Boy Scout flags flown along with team flags," recalled Airman 1st Class Joshua Williams, a knowledge operator who is now the manager the flag flying program and whose office is packed with boxes full of American flags.
A large number of flags are requested by soldiers, many on a second or third deployment, said the colonel. Many, he described, credit the A-10 or one of the other 451st AEW aircraft with having saved their lives. When the soldiers drop off their flags and paperwork, they'll sit down and tell their story.
"They'll say, 'I want it flown on the A-10. That was the plane that saved me last time'," he recalled.
Airman Jones was struck by the story of a group of soldiers from a mounted division, who had fallen under attack while on a patrol. The group was almost out of ammunition and being fired on from several sides when a single airman in their group called in an air strike. Within 10 minutes an A-10 screamed overhead and destroyed the insurgents. Airman Jones claimed each of the soldiers requested flags from the A-10s.
Pretty cool, eh? Long time EIP readers know the Air Force had a similar program during Operation Iraqi Freedom. And how do you know this? Coz ya saw mine:
(click for larger, as always)
SN1 got mine for me when he was at Balad AB in 2008. As I said back when I received the flag: Best Present Ever. I'm bettin' those guys who have a flag flown in an A-10 feel pretty much the same way, only MUCH more so.