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The Meaning Behind the 13 Folds of the American Flag


The flag-folding ceremony represents the same religious principles on which our great country was originally founded.

  1. The first fold of our flag is a symbol of life.

  2. The second fold is a symbol of our belief in eternal life.

  3. The third fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veteran who gave his or her life for the defense of our country

  4. The fourth fold represents American citizens trusting in God, it is Him we turn to in times of peace, as well as in times of war, for His divine guidance.

  5. The fifth fold is a tribute to our country.

  6. The sixth fold is for where our hearts lie. 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 our armed forces, for it is the armed forces that our country and our flag is protected against all enemies, foreign & domestic.

  8. The eighth fold is a tribute to the one who entered into the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day, and to honor our mother, for whom it flies on Mother's Day.

  9. The ninth fold is a tribute to womanhood. It has been through their faith, love, loyalty and devotion that has molded the character of the men and women who have made this country great.

  10. The 10th fold is a tribute to father, who has also given his sons and daughters for the defense of our country since he or she was first born.

  11. The 11th fold represents the seal of King David and King Solomon and glorifies the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

  12. The 12th fold represents eternity and glorifies God the Father, the Son and Holy Ghost.

  13. The 13th and last fold, when the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost, reminding us of our national motto, “In God We Trust.”

After the Folding Ceremony

After the flag is completely folded and tucked in, it has the appearance of a cocked hat, reminding us of the soldiers who served under Gen. George Washington and the sailors and Marines who served under Capt. John Paul Jones and were followed by their comrades and shipmates in the U.S. Armed Forces, preserving for us the rights, privileges and freedoms we enjoy today.

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