You have permission to edit this article.

The American flag and its 13 folds

  • 2 min to read
john floyd

The United States flag is an iconic abstraction with one purpose, it symbolizes all Americans, both living and dead. It is not political, it is not racial, and it should never be used as a tool to spread divisiveness. The flag drapes the coffins of our fallen warriors and flies majestically over the graves of the military personnel whose final resting place is on foreign soil. It serves as an identifying symbol above foreign embassies, giving comfort to Americans in foreign lands. The American flag is a reminder for all the world of its power. Burning and desecration of the American flag is done under the “freedom of speech” doctrine. It is this flag and what it represents that gives someone the right to desecrate, burn, and trample.

When the American flag is taken down at Reveille, or removed from an American military personnel’s casket just prior to entombment, it is folded 12 times.

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 departing our ranks who gave a portion of his or her life for the defense of out country to attain peace throughout the world.

4. The Fourth Fold represents our trust in God, for as American citizens it to him we turn 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. 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.”

6. The Sixth fold is for where our hearts lie. For 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.

Support Local Journalism

Now, more than ever, the world needs trustworthy reporting—but good journalism isn’t free. Please support us by making a contribution.

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, whether they be found within or without the borders of our Republic.

8. The Eighth Fold stands for the Constitution of the United States of America, where all men are created equal, with rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

9. 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 great who have made this country great has been molded.

10. The Tenth Fold is a tribute to Fathers, for they have given their sons and daughters for the defense of their country.

11. The Eleventh Fold, in the eyes of Hebrew citizens, represents the lower portion of the Seal of King Solomon and glorifies in their eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

12. The Twelfth Fold, in the eyes of Christian citizens, 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 and Stripes face upward as to the heavens.

The definition of all twelve folds should be read to every person who finds comfort in reviling the American flag. Personal circumstances are different, but the flag of the United States represents every American regardless of race or national origin. The American flag is sacred and it symbolizes all protections to its citizens.

Along those same lines, why not stop playing the National Anthem at sporting events? Keep sports just that, a sport.