The 2021 National Veterans Day Poster Contest is underway, with submissions due April 1, 2021.

Each year the Veterans Day National Committee publishes a commemorative Veterans Day poster. The Committee selects a poster from artwork submitted by artists nationwide. It also distributes the winning design to VA facilities, military installations around the world, and across cities and towns in our nation. It then serves as the cover of the official program for the Veterans Day Observance at Arlington National Cemetery.

Over the years these posters have illustrated the rich history of our country’s service men and women. The poster reflects our pride and patriotism in saluting Veterans while providing the thematic artistry for the year.

The theme for Veterans Day 2021 is the centennial commemoration of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Located at Arlington National Cemetery, the Army initially dedicated the Tomb on Armistice Day, November 11, 1921, with the burial of an unknown service member from World War I. Over the past century, additional unknowns have been buried at the Tomb. The site has become a people’s memorial that inspires reflection on service, valor, sacrifice and mourning.

This year’s Veterans Day poster competition asks artists to envision a design that evokes elements of the history, legacy, and meaning of the Tomb during its centennial anniversary. Whether inspired by historic images of the Tomb, the ceremonies and rituals that take place at the site, or the physical Tomb itself, artists should interpret the Tomb’s centennial in a way that honors its past and recognizes its continued importance in American society to all.

Submission Guidelines

  • Be 18” x 24” at 300 dots per inch, scale down submissions to 9”x12.”
  • The design will be used for a 1” x 1.5” lapel pin. Simple designs look best scaled down to lapel pins. If you’d like to submit a modified design for the lapel pin based off the original poster design, you may do so.
  • Submissions are not restricted to “human centric” presentations, such as a joint color guard. Imagery of American icons, monuments or scenery can qualify, for example, the American flag.
  • Representative of all Veterans who served. The Committee may select a particular submission but ask the artist to make modifications to the original design. Additional changes may be required prior to printing.
  • Design must include the words :Veterans Day, November 11, 2021” and “Honoring all who served.”
  • Include sufficient information to demonstrate that the image is the work of the artist and is not copyrighted material (i.e. photos and concepts).
  • Successful designs are very simple with minimal imagery and verbiage. To view examples of past winning submissions visit:

Submit electronic versions as jpg images or PDF files by email to or send copies of artwork on a CD with artwork files to:

Veterans Day National Committee (002D)
Department of Veterans Affairs
810 Vermont Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20420

The deadline for submissions is April 1, 2021. The Veterans Day National Committee will convene a selection sub-committee in May 2021 to review submissions and make a final selection.


Email the Veterans Day Coordinator at

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Published on Feb. 17, 2021

Estimated reading time is 2.6 min.

Views to date: 574


  1. Stacy Handley March 7, 2021 at 9:04 pm

    Can you submit more than one design?

  2. Elizabeth O'Connor February 22, 2021 at 3:24 am

    Once the artwork is submitted, does the artist retain the rights over it or does it become the property of the Department of Veterans Affairs? What happens to the artwork that is not chosen?

    • Stacy Handley March 7, 2021 at 9:06 pm

      I have the same question

  3. David E. Anderson February 18, 2021 at 12:06 am

    I have had the honor of being asked to participate twice, in Minnesota History Museum Veterans presentations.

  4. Anthony Natoli February 17, 2021 at 11:28 pm


    What you are asking for in the way of submissions is something a professional graphic artist would normally do and that requires quite a bit of work.

    I realize that the submitted artwork that is selected is an honor in itself, but are there any other perks, awards or recognition given as well?


    Tony Natoli

  5. Ann Puck February 17, 2021 at 4:36 pm

    Thank you, from a veteran who also is a person who continues to serve all veterans and her community, schools as well. Thank you. Note, veteran organizations have similar art Patriot contests. I like the above one too.
    Can school age students also participate? Students who also have family members serving their country, the United States.
    Ann Puck, Service Officer, DAV, chapter 10, MO; Fr. Vincent Capodanno Catholic War Veterans, USA Memorial post 1974

    • Constance Heffner February 18, 2021 at 5:29 pm

      Yes, my question also. My granddaughter is a high school senior participating in programs and activities offering monetary grants or awards.

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