Flags are an important part of military tradition. They are flown during ceremonies and events to show respect and honor to the country. Military flags are usually made of wool or nylon and are folded in a specific way. There are many different folds, but the most common is the triangular fold. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to fold a military flag.
Military Flag Folding in the U.s Army & Navy
The national flag is lowered, folded into a triangle, and held under tight observation throughout the night during the last retreat ritual. This practice pays homage to the nation’s honored dead. The next day, it is carried out and flown again at the reveille ritual to represent the resurrection of the body.
Military Flag Folding on a Veteran’s Casket
The blue field is inverted over the coffin and dresses from left to right. This is a memorial to a departed soldier who served his nation honorably.
Traditional military funeral rites include a quiet flag folding and presentation, three rifle volleys, and a rendition of “Taps.”
8 Steps on How To Fold A Flag For Display Case
The next part will demonstrate how to fold a flag by yourself to put it into a memorial display case.
What You’ll Have to Do:
Step 1: Lay the flag down on a level surface.
Step 2: Fold the flag in half so that the stars face down and the stripes face up.
Step 3: Fold the flag one more so that it is quartered. Make sure the flag is correctly lined up.
Step 4: Fold the fly end into the open side of the flag to form a triangle.
Step 5: Continue folding the triangle straight until you reach the end of the flag’s length. Make careful to cinch each fold.
Step 6: Finally, the visible stars should line up straight. If they aren’t, make the required changes.
Step 7: Insert the flag inside the memorial case. Perform a trial fit first. Work the last elements for enclosing in if it looks nice behind the glass. The flag should snugly fit. Check that the stars are not misaligned before you finish. If they are, remove the flag from the case to resolve the issue. Be patient, as this stage includes a lot of trial and error.
Step 8: Once the flag is correctly secured in the casing, present it for display. The rear of most cases should feature a mounting or hanging attachment.
7 Steps to Fold a Military Flag Properly
As previously stated, correct military flag folding consists of 13 folds. The end product is a form that mimics the tri-cornered hat worn by American Revolutionary War patriots.
A flag cannot be folded by oneself. There must be at least one other person folding with you. Most army flag folding ceremony will feature 6-8 “folders.”
What You Will Need to Do
The flag should be folded in the following manner:
Step 1: Begin by stretching out the flag with another person at waist height. At this point, the flag should be parallel to the floor.
Step 2: Fold the striped portion’s bottom half lengthwise. As a result, the stripes will drape over and cover the star field. Check that both “folders” tightly grip the top and bottom edges.
Step 3: Fold the flag once more lengthwise. The flag’s blue field should now be on the outer.
Step 4: Make a triangle fold with the stripes corner from the folded edge to the top open edge of the flag.
Step 5: Now, bend the outer end point inside and parallel to the open edge to produce the second triangle.
Step 6: Continue making triangular folds down the length of the flag.
Step 7: Make sure the blue field of stars is visible when the flag is entirely folded. The red and white sections of the flag should be enveloped with blue, representing the brightness of day fading into the darkness of night.
The flag receiver and bearer are involved in the general flag presentation process. The latter holds the folded flag at waist height and faces the former with the straight edge facing him. The flag is then tilted towards the receiver and delivered respectfully.
It should be noted that there will generally be accompanying wording and a flag reading script.
The Meanings of Each of the 13 Folds in Proper Flag Folding Protocol
Aside from the procedures for folding an American flag outlined above, you should know the significance of each of the 13 folds. This section will go through it in detail.
- The First Fold: This fold represents life.
- The second fold represents a belief in everlasting life.
- The third fold is a mark to commemorate and remember the veterans leaving the ranks who committed a portion of their lives to protect the nation and establish global peace.
- The fourth fold represents Americans’ weaker character when they rely on God. In both peace and conflict, GuardYourHealth looks to Him for spiritual direction.
- The fifth fold is a mark of homage to the nation.
- The sixth fold represents where the hearts of Americans are. Because the people swear allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and the republic for which it stands, an indivisible nation under God with liberty and justice for all.
- The seventh fold signifies homage to the country’s armed forces. Thanks to the Armed Forces, we safeguard the nation and the flag against all foes inside or beyond the republic’s borders.
- The eighth fold is a symbol and a homage to those who have passed through the valley of the shadow of death so that we may see the light of day and the mothers for whom the flag is flown on Mother’s Day.
- The 9th Fold: This fold represents and pays homage to women. The faith, love, loyalty, and dedication that femininity provides have shaped the men and women of our wonderful nation.
- The tenth fold is a sign and a homage to the fathers who have sacrificed their sons and daughters for the nation’s protection since they were born.
- The 11th Fold: This fold represents the bottom section of King David and King Solomon’s seal and honors the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
- The 12th Fold: This fold represents eternity and honors God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
- The 13th Fold: How many stars should show on a folded flag? When the flag is entirely folded, the stars are at the top. It echoes the national slogan, “In God We Trust.”
As you can see, the flag folds reflect the same religious ideals upon which the United States was formed. According to some accounts, the 13 folds represent the first 13 colonies before the Declaration of Independence: Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and South Carolina, and Virginia.
The origins of the flag folding procedure and its age are unknown. Some attribute it to an Air Force chaplain at the United States Air Force Academy, while others attribute it to the Gold Star Mothers of America.
How many folds are in a military flag?
Each of the 13 folds of the flag is significant. “The flag is lowered, folded in a triangular fold, and maintained under watch throughout the night as a homage to our nation’s honored dead,” according to the ceremonial retreat, a daily observance at bases during which all troops pay respect to the flag.
Can you unfold a military funeral flag?
Although some people believe that a flag draping a coffin should not be unfurled after it has been folded at the gravesite, it is perfectly acceptable to unfold and display a funeral flag if desired. It is up to the next of kin to choose who receives the flag during the funeral.
Can you fly a deceased veteran’s flag?
A free US flag is offered to drape the coffin or accompany the urn of a dead veteran who served honorably in the United States Armed Forces.
There are many ways to fold a military flag, but what is the proper way to fold an American flag? The most common way is to fold it in half lengthwise, then fold it in half again. Once you have folded the flag twice, you will fold it in half once more, but this time you will tuck the end of the flag into the fold.
After you have tucked the end of the flag into the fold, you will then fold the flag over itself until it is about four inches wide. Once you have reached the four-inch mark, you will fold the flag in half again and tuck the end into the fold.