My paternal grandfather was a World War II Veteran.
At his funeral, two members of the United States Army folded the American Flag at the grave site. It was a moving and memorable ceremony.
Later, my dad sent me an article that explains how the American Flag is to be folded and the symbolism behind it.
Since we celebrate Independence Day in the United States on July 4th, I’d like to share this information with you. It reminds Americans of the values of our great country.
(If you’re like me, you don’t already know this information and you’ll be surprised to see its connections to Christianity!)
The American Flag may be folded for a number of reasons. Since the Flag Code specifies that the flag should not be carried flat, folding the flag may be necessary for transportation, storage or display. The flag is also folded by members of the Armed Forces after it is lifted from a casket at a military funeral. It is then given to the next of kin.
The Flag Code does not specify how the flag should be folded, but a standard flag will require thirteen folds. To specify there should be two lengthwise folds and eleven triangular folds.
When folding the flag in this manner gained popularity, there wasn’t a symbolic meaning associated with the folds. Through the years, the public has attributed meaning to each fold. Most of these meanings are religious, and all of them reflect the ideals of this country.
Step 1: Facing each other two people should hold the flag horizontally at both ends.
Step 2: Make your first fold lengthwise, bringing the stripes over the union area of the flag.
- The first fold is a symbol of life.
Step 3: Match up the corners, keeping the flag taut.
Step 4: Make another lengthwise fold, match up the corners and keep the flag taut.
- The second fold is a symbol of a belief in eternal life.
- The third fold is a symbol of honor and remembrance of veterans.
Step 5: Keeping the flag taut at both ends, fold a triangle from fold to edge. Keep folding triangles, making sure you keep a 90 degree angle and your folds are smooth.
- The fourth fold is a symbol of weakness.
- The fifth fold is a tribute to our country.
- The sixth fold is where our hearts lie.
- The seventh fold is a tribute to our Armed Forces.
Step 6: Continue folding triangles in the same manner.
- The eighth fold is a tribute to the one who entered into the valley of the shadow of death, so that we may see the light.
Step 7: Continue folding triangles onto the union of the flag.
- The ninth fold is a tribute to womanhood.
- The tenth fold is a tribute to fathers.
- The eleventh fold represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon, glorifying the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
- The twelfth fold represents the emblem of eternity and glorifies the God of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.
Step 8: Fold the last triangle and tuck the ends in.
- When the folds are complete, the stars are uppermost and remind us of our national motto, “In God we Trust.”
- The flag will resemble a cocked hat, representing soldiers, Marines and Sailors of the past and present.
(Note: On July 4th, the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary will celebrate Mass at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Massachusetts for healing and renewal of our nation)
Immaculate Conception, Patroness of the United States of America, intercede for our country. We ask that you take us all under your mantle, and with your powerful intercession, help us “form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.” Amen