The United States Flag is a symbol of hope and liberty around the world; its current design was approved by congress on June 14th, 1777 and contained 13 stripes which represent the original 13 colonies but the first official flag was "The Continental Colors," also known as "The Grand Union Flag."
From 1776 to 1960, the United States Flag or Old Glory went through many changes but Americans across the nation proudly wave it at parades, fly it on the homes, and every 4th of July when gazing upon it's colors, we are reminded of those brave men and women who gave their life to protect our shores from harm.
As child, I remember attending military funerals where the the U.S. Flag was sadly folded and presented to the spouse, mother, father or other family member of the hero that had fallen but what does the folding represent?
There is no official reason for the folding of the American Flag but over the decades the following Symbolic Meanings have been adopted and embraced by Veterans, their families and countless others.
What Each Fold of the USA Flag Traditionally Means
1. The first fold of our flag represents life.
2. The second fold is a symbol of our belief in the eternal life.
3. The third fold is made in honor and remembrance all veterans who have departed our ranks who gave a portion of life for the defense of our country to maintain tranquility throughout the world.
4. The fourth fold represents our weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in times of war for His divine guidance.
5. The fifth fold is an accolade or open praise of our great nation, for in the words of Stephen Decatur, “Our country, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right; but it is still our country, right or wrong.”
6. The sixth fold represents the condition of our heart. It is with our heart 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.
7. The seventh fold is a tribute to the Military for protecting our lives and our freedoms against all enemies both foreign and domestic.
8. 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 for all mothers who gave us life.
9. The ninth fold represents womanhood; for it has been through their faith, love, loyalty, faith, perseverance and devotion that the characters of the men and women who have made this country great have been molded.
10. The tenth fold is a tribute to fatherhood for he has given his sons and daughters for the defense of our great nation.
11. The eleventh fold gives praise and honor to all Hebrew citizens. It represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon, and glorifies the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
12. The twelfth fold gives praise and honor to all Christians. The Fold represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost.
When the flag is completely folded, the stars are topmost, reminding us of our national motto….In God we Trust.
(Wait for the Honor Guard or Flag Detail to inspect the flag--after the inspection, resume reading.)
After the flag is completely folded and tucked in, it resembles a raised hat reminding us of the soldiers who in the Armed Forces of the United States served and died to preserve the rights, liberties and freedoms we all embrace today.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.