Veteran discovers military burial flag, now is searching for rightful owners

| January 14, 2019

One veteran’s cleanup project in Nampa led to another’s missing treasure.

While cleaning out a home in Nampa, veteran David Slawson Sr. found a military burial flag. All he had was the name of the owner, Mr. Argo Buchanan, but he says he knew immediately how special the flag was.

“It was very dirty and we did not at that time know what it was, until we found the presentation case that it went in,” Slawson said. “Their father or grandfather or whoever it was whose casket this flagged draped took the time out of his life to serve his country, the country that he loved and so that’s special.”

Slawson, hoping to return the flag to Mr. Buchanan’s family, reached out to friends and distant connections on Facebook, but so far has had no luck. He cleaned and restored the flag himself, making sure it was in pristine condition for the rightful owner. For Slawson, getting the flag back to the family it belongs to is especially important because he watched his son serve in the military for 17 years–and knows first hand the sacrifice the flag represents.

“The first time he was gone for that year, every time a car drove down the road that we didn’t know, it just shook you to your core. It was special to have him come home in one piece when a lot of his friends didn’t,” Slawson said.

Even if no one comes forward, Slawson says he is dedicated to making sure the sacrifice will not be forgotten.

“It is our firm desire to have this flag which we consider very special and sacred to be returned to the family that it rightfully belongs to,” Slawson said.

If you know any family members connected to this flag, please email us ( or reach out to us on our Facebook page. 

It would be outstanding if a family member could be found.

Category: Breaking News, Media

Comments (9)

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  1. AW1Ed says:

    For the geographically challenged among us, myself included, Nampa is in Idaho.

    City of Nampa Link

    For Slawson, getting the flag back to the family it belongs to is especially important because he watched his son serve in the military for 17 years–and knows first hand the sacrifice the flag represents.

    Here’s one who understands. Best of luck in finding family who can claim the flag.

  2. streetsweeper says:

    Four names associated with this man, two are the most prominent. Barbara Jean and Alan Lee Buchanan

  3. 26Limabeans says:

    If a family member cannot be found it would be proper to return the flag to the National Cemetery Adminstration.

    Had to do that once.

    • 5th/77th FA says:

      BZ to Mr. Slawson and his attempt to find the family and the return the Flag, I wish him luck.

      Sadly I have gone to many an estate sale and/or flea market and seen presentation flags in the cases for sale. In some cases the family members were there and had no desire to keep the flag that draped the casket of a Veteran. Some didn’t even know what it represented. I would try to gently but firmly encourage them to donate the Colors to the local AL, DAV, VFW, NCA, or a museum. Sometimes I’d get a commitment, sometimes I wouldn’t.

      The one that covered my Papa’s casket (WWII VET) was found in a trunk after Mama passed. The oldest son insisted that he have it, just cause he was the oldest son. (he never served) Older brother (AF Vet) and I agreed on the condition that his son (AF Vet) have custody. My nephews boys are already setting up a rotation schedule for this flag for when they become of age and have their own homes. Kinda proud of them boys.

      • OWB says:

        What to do with the flags could become an issue here. Eldest son gave the flag of my FIL to us because we served and he was medically disqualified. That flag will go to his grandson who is currently serving. Mine and the spousal unit’s can go to a neighbor. My father’s will likely end up with a cousin. But, I need to put that all in writing. And get those flag cases properly labeled.

      • 26Limabeans says:

        It is common for items such as photos, letters etc. to be inserted in the fold and long forgotten.
        I would never unfold a casket flag even for cleaning. It was folded over the veterans grave by an honor guard and their unique signature is seen in the way the stars present. You can never get that back.

  4. OC says:

    Outstanding Mr. Slawson!
    I hope your search turns out well.

  5. AnotherPat says:

    Research indicates the flag might have been for Argo Buchanan’s Father, who was a Marine in the 1950s or his Paternal Grandfather, who served in the US Army during WWII.

    Kudos and a Salute to Mr.Slawson for doing the right thing.

  6. Lurker Curt says:

    Holy shit, Nampa is 30 miles from where I live and less than 20 from where I work…and I first see this *here*! Guess I need to up my Situational Awareness, or something…

    Will keep an ear open and pass along any info.