Folding the American Flag.
You may know that the American flag is folded 13 times when it is lowered or when it is passed on to the next of kin at the burial of a Veteran, but you might not know why. Here is a breakdown of what each fold represents . . .
The first fold of our flag is the symbol of life.
The second fold is a symbol of our belief in the eternal life.
The third fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veteran(s) departing our ranks, who gave a portion of life for the defense of our country and to attain peace throughout the world.
The fourth fold represents our weaker nature; for, as American citizens trusting in God, it is in him we turn to in times of peace as well as in times of war for his divine guidance.
The fifth fold is a tribute to our country, for in the words of Stephen Decatur, "Our country, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right; but it still is our country, right or wrong."
The sixth fold reminds us of the six battle-weary fighters who vigilantly struggled to the top of Mount Suribache on Iwo Jima during World War II. Once there, they proudly raised above the battle our flag, the symbol "that we all hold dear," the symbol of "freedom, democracy, government of the people, by the people, and for the people." It is our duty to defend the flag which stands for them all.
The seventh fold is for where our hearts lie. It is with our hearts that we pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
The eighth fold is a tribute to the one who entered in to the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day; and to honor Mother, for whom it flies on Mothers Day.
The ninth fold is a tribute to womanhood; for it has been through their faith, love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great have been molded.
The tenth fold is a tribute to Father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense of our country since he or she was first born.
The eleventh fold, in the eyes of a Hebrew citizen, represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon and glorifies, in their eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
The twelfth fold, in the eyes of a Christian citizen, represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in their eyes, God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
When the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost, reminding us of our national motto, "In God We Trust."
To learn even more specific details of the folding of the American Flag including exactly how the folds are made, visit the Army website by clicking here