The United States flag is almost exclusively used as a symbol on the gravestones of veterans. The flag is the symbol of our country and denotes patriotism and love of country. It is displayed on the graves of veterans because of their devotion and their sacrifice made in the service of our country.
A dramatic example of this can be found in the the Grove Lawn Cemetery in Pendleton, Indiana, on Jonathan W. Zeublin’s (1838- 1919) gravestone. An immense block of gray granite has been carved to look as if an American flag is draped over the stone. The flag is so convincingly carved it almost looks as if a big gust of wind could carry it aloft. The ripples and the draped fabric of the flag is amazingly realistic. The alternating stripes of our flag are made by highly polishing a stripe and leaving one rough finished to make the contrast between the red and white stripes. The same technique is used for the stars in the canton, which are polished while what would be the blue background is left matte.
The flag drapes over the face of the stone which displays the G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic) medal that veteran soldiers who fought for the North wore to commemorate their service. Jonathan Zeublin joined Company B, 89th Regiment, Indiana Volunteers as a private on August 8, 1862. Zeublin had a somewhat meteoric rise in the service. He was elected a first sergeant and within twenty days of entering the service was commissioned a lieutenant. One of the campaigns in which Zeublin fought was the Battle of Mumfordsville, Kentucky, which occurred September 14th through the 17th. The fighting ended in a Confederate victory with over 4,000 casualties and losses for the Union side and a little over 700 on the Confederate side. In 1863, due to injuries sustained during the course of his short tenure in the Union Army, Zeublin was forced to resign. He returned to Pendleton, Indiana, to work as a merchant. He married, had a family and belonged to the Methodist Church and the Odd Fellows Lodge. But Zeublin chose only to commemorate his service in the Army on his gravestone.