Meaning of the Folds
The flag is folded from the stripes toward the stars, for whereas the stripes represent the 13 original colonies that founded our republic and they are now embodied in the 50 sovereign states, represented by the stars so that the stars cover the stripes.
The first fold of our Flag is the symbol of life.
The second fold is a symbol of our belief in eternal life.
The third fold is made in honor and remembrances of the Veteran departing the ranks, who gave a portion of his life for the defense of our country to attain peace throughout the world, not to have been in vain and shall never be forgotten.
The fourth fold represents our weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in God, in times of peace as well as in times of war, it is to Him we return, for His divine guidance.
The fifth fold is a tribute to our country, for in the words of the immortal Stephen Decatur, “Our country, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right, but it is still our country, right or wrong.”
The sixth fold is for where our hearts lie. 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.
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 her ememies, whether they be found within or without the boundaries of our republic.
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.
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 who have made this country great has been molded.
The tenth fold is a tribute to father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense of our country since they were first born.
The eleventh fold, in the eyes of a Hebrew citizen, 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.
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.
When the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost, reminding us of our national motto, “In God We Trust.”
After the flag is completely folded and tucked in, it takes on the appearance of a cocked hat, ever reminding us of the soldiers who served under General George Washington and the sailors and marines who served under Captain John Paul Jones who were followed by their comrades and shipmates in the Armed Forces of the United States, preserving for us the rights, privileges, and freedoms we enjoy today.
This explanation of the folded flag can take on a meaning for you when we honor veterans on Memorial Day along with family and friends who are no longer with us. To extend our thoughts further, “If God be for us, who can be against us.”
On Memorial Day let these words be a comforting reminiscence for you!
Source: Original is unknown. Excerpts from Prairie Pioneer Genealogical Society, Inc. Grand Island, NE. October 1999 and internet site http://userpages.aug.com/haywire/foldhis.html.