Folding The American Flag and The Meaning Behind It

Folding The American Flag and The Meaning Behind It

Posted by Hayley Adams on Feb 23rd 2023

Throughout 2023 many American flags will be folded for many reason across America. In fact, you have probably seen the traditional folding of the  American flag at some point, maybe at a military funeral or at special ceremonial occasions. But have you ever wondered why Old Glory is folded in such a specific manner?

Well, much like everything that has to do with our nation's greatest symbol, the 13-step folding process actually holds significant meaning with each and every fold. Here is some information about how to fold the flag, displaying a folded flag, and the meaning behind each fold.

Folding the Flag

Displaying a Folded Flag

A great way to display a folded flag is in a display box. There are several options to choose from based on the flag size, style, and material. Our most popular display boxes are the LED prisms, they make for beautiful decor and will most definitely strike up a conversation!

After the flag is completely folded and tucked in, it has the appearance of a crooked hat. This presentation ever reminds us of the brave soldiers, sailors, and marines who served under Gen. George Washington and Capt. John Paul Jones - winning us our freedom. 

Meaning Behind the Folds

According to the United States Flag Code, the 13 folds are a symbolic passing of the 13 truths. These truths represent the same religious principles upon which our country was originally founded.

  1. The first fold of our flag is a symbol of life.
  2. The second fold signifies our belief in eternal life.
  3. The third fold is made in honor and tribute of the veteran departing our ranks, and who gave a portion of his or her life for the defense of our country to attain peace.
  4. The fourth fold exemplifies our weaker nature as citizens trusting in God; it is to Him we turn for His divine guidance.
  5. The fifth fold is an acknowledgment to our country, 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 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 through the armed forces that we protect our country and our flag against all enemies.
  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 an honor to womanhood, for it has been through their faith, love, loyalty, and devotion that the character of men and women who have made this country great have been molded.
  10. The tenth fold is a tribute to the father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense of our country since he or she was first-born.
  11. The eleventh fold, in the eyes of Hebrew citizens, 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.
  12. 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 Holy Ghost.
  13. The last fold, when the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost, reminding us of our national motto, “In God We Trust.”