National Cemetery Flower Rules

by Kim Kenney

National cemeteries take pride in maintaining a well-landscaped, clutter-free tribute to our nation's fallen heroes. Rules and regulations regarding the placement of flowers on grave sites help the cemetery staff to maintain these high standards.

Burial Flowers

According to National Cemetery Florist, a company that handles national cemetery floral arrangements exclusively, any flowers that accompany a casket to the burial site remain at the graveside until the flowers die or become unsightly.

Fresh Flowers

Fresh flowers can be placed at a national cemetery at any time of the year.

Artificial Flowers

Each national cemetery has individual rules regarding the placement of artificial flowers. They are allowed within certain time periods that vary by cemetery.


Holiday arrangements are permitted at national cemeteries between Dec. 10 and Jan. 10, but cannot be attached directly to a marker or gravestone.

Prohibited Items

The Department of Veterans Affairs prohibits anything offensive or disrespectful from being placed at a grave site. Statues, candles, breakable items and permanent plantings are also not allowed.

About the Author

I have been a professional historian, museum curator, and author for more than a decade. I have served as the Museums Editor at BellaOnline since 2004. I am qualified to serve as an expert in a variety of historical topics. My expertise includes the Victorian Age and McKinley's presidency, the Roaring Twenties, the 1950s, the flu, museum studies, material culture, architecture, and more. I have a BA in history and an MA in history museum studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program. Please see my bio on my employer's website for more: