The American flag embodies the values and core beliefs that the United States was founded on. These cherished values are defended by the brave men and women of the Armed Services, who give some or all of their lives in service to their country. The flag is furnished to a departed veteran’s family in gratitude and as a tribute of respect.
Officially, there is no ceremony for the folding of the American flag; the ceremonial thirteen folds are made as a patriotic gesture of gratitude and in remembrance of the veteran who has passed on. While there is no official flag folding ceremony script either, many traditions have been passed down that have become “unofficially official” and imbue each of the folds with a meaning.
The First Fold: is made as a representation of life.
The Second Fold: is made as a symbol of our belief in life everlasting.
The Third Fold: is made in remembrance of the sacrifice of the veteran, who gave a portion of his life to defend the United States.
The Fourth Fold: is a symbol of our weak and imperfect nature, and our need to turn to God for His divine guidance — in times of peace and in times of war.
The Fifth Fold: is made in tribute to the United States of America.
The Sixth Fold: is our pledge of allegiance to our flag and country.
The Seventh Fold: is made in tribute to all of our Armed Service members and to honor their efforts to protect and defend the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.
The Eighth Fold: is made in tribute and honor of the veteran’s mother.
The Ninth Fold: is made in honor of womanhood, whose love and loyalty has shaped the characters of the men and women who serve the United States.
The Tenth Fold: is made in tribute and honor of the veteran’s father.
The Eleventh Fold: is made as a symbol for members of the Jewish faith and brings to mind the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
The Twelfth Fold: is made as a symbol for members of Christian faiths brings to mind God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
The Thirteenth Fold: is made with the stars pointing upwards to remind us “In God We Trust”.