On July 12, 1862, President Lincoln signed into law a bill creating the Army Medal of Honor. Members of the other branches of the military became eligible to receive this medal in 1915, followed by the Air Force in 1956. While there are three different versions of the medal (Army, Navy and Air Force), the Medal of Honor remains the highest military award in the United States. In 2002, the Medal of Honor flag was authorized to be given to all recipients of the Medal, the first of which (according to Wikipedia) was Sergeant First Class
Paul R. Smith (posthumously) by President Bush in 2006 to Smith's family.
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