In a practical sense, a ideal flag fold goes a long way in terms of flag care, maintenance, and storage.

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You may not have actually occasion to fold a flag really often. But, that is Army and Navy practice to reduced the flag daily, at the last note of retreat. The flag is then folded in a triangle shape. 

It is said the shape is comparable to that of hats worn by the colonial soldiers. Is the form a coincidence, or intentional? We"ll see.

As a symbolic gesture, flag folding plays vital role in reflecting respect because that the flag and also what that represents. It is a moving and meaningful component of plenty of ceremonies, including funeral services and burial rites.

 Knowing the basics and a little bit of history will serve you in plenty of ways.


What is the proper way to fold the American flag?


For starters, there is no "official" means to wrinkles the American flag.

The U.S. Flag Code  is the an initial place to look for flag display and etiquette. The is full of rules governing when, where and also how to display screen the united state flag, but there are no indict on folding

One factor is since flags differ in size. There is a standard proportion for government flags, however in handy use no all flags keep the same ratios. Typical flag sizes room 12x18", 2x3 Ft, 2.5x4, 3x5, 4x6, 5x8 and bigger. 

Interment flags used for interment services are 5"x9.5".

Not every flag will certainly fold into the same shape through the same variety of folds.

Since the flag code leaves us looking or answers, we turn to the branches the the Military, the VA (Department that Veterans Affairs), American Legion, VFW, and the young Scouts the America.

Even the Army, waiting Force, Navy, Marines, and Coast safety all have their own unique variations for handling the flag. (more on that later)

Our conclusion is that there is no "proper" or "correct" means to wrinkles the American flag. But there is a model and also best practice to follow.

Showing respect for the flag and what it represents is what really matters. The really details leave room because that interpretation. 



Step through Step: exactly how To wrinkles the American Flag


 Hold the flag stretched out and also parallel come the ground

(it helps to preserve tension between the 2 ends)


1. Fold in fifty percent lengthwise 


2. Wrinkles in half again


3. Indigenous the paris end, wrinkles a triangle indigenous the urgently edge to the open edge


4. Repeat triangle folds towards the canton


5. Proceed triangle folds


6. Repeat


7. There space 13 wrinkle in full so keep going


8. Getting close come the end


9. Every little thing excess remains will fold into the triangle


This is the many common and also basic way to fold the American flag.


As we mentioned before each branch that the armed forces adds their very own subtle style to the pomp and also circumstance that flag folding.

Here is a good example of a Marine Flag Folding. You could be surprised by the an initial fold and the finish result.

Marine Corps human body Bearers - Respect

 Do the wrinkle of the American Flag have Meaning?

Yes. The ceremony of urgent the American flag dead great an interpretation and symbolic reference. If you ever had a doubt, clock the naval Corps human body Bearers above.

But it"s a tiny bit of the chicken or the egg once it concerns what came first.

Were these symbols and also meanings planned? more than likely not. (There is no evidence that castle were.) We think the 13 folds exist because they work. Together times walk by, legacies emerge and also people ascribe meaning.

We"ll current the most common interpretations and you can apply what works for you.

Respect because that the flag and what it represents is what is many important. The details leaving room because that freedom.

During flag urgent ceremonies, often a "script" is read. This scripts embody the symbolism of each fold and its meaning. Right here are some renowned examples.

13 Folds because that The American Flag

Using the method above, there are 13 folds. (As we mentioned before, no every flag is the same size, therefore it deserve to vary, however 13 is most traditional.)

From the united state Department of Veterans Affairs. 

“Honoring the interment wishes that veterans is among the highest commitments for the men and women that VA,” claimed William F. Tuerk, VA’s Under Secretary because that Memorial Affairs. “A household may inquiry the recitation of words to accompany the meaningful presentation that the American flag as we respect the dedication and sacrifice of your loved ones.”

Traditional gravesite military funeral honors include the quiet folding and also presentation of an American flag, a rifle salute, and the playing of “Taps.”

Volunteer honor guards room authorized to check out the so-called “13-fold” flag recitation or any comparable script.

"13-Fold Script"

The flag urgent ceremony to represent the same spiritual principles on i beg your pardon our nation was initially founded. The section of the flag denoting honor is the canton the blue comprise the stars representing the claims our veterans served in uniform. The canton ar of blue dresses from left to right and is inverted as soon as draped as a pall on a casket of a veteran who has served our country in uniform.

In the armed Forces the the joined States, in ~ the ceremony of retreat the flag is lowered, urgently in a triangle fold and also kept under clock throughout the night as a tribute to our nation"s honored dead. The following morning that is brought out and, at the consciousness of reveille, run aloft together a price of our belief in the resurrection that the body.

(Wait for the honor Guard or Flag information to unravel and fold the flag into a quarter fold--resume reading as soon as Honor security is was standing ready.)

The first fold of our flag is a price of life.The 2nd fold is a prize of our belief in the eternal life.The 3rd fold is do in honor and also remembrance the the veteran departing our ranking who gave a part of life because that the defense the our country to attain a peace throughout the world.The fourth fold represents our weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in God, that is to Him we rotate in times of peace and in times of war for His magnificent guidance.The 5th fold is a tribute to our country, because that in the native of Stephen Decatur, "Our country, in managing other countries, may she always be right; yet it is quiet our country, appropriate or wrong."The sixth fold is for where our hearts lie. The is with our love that us pledge allegiance to the flag of the United states of America, and to the republic for which the stands, one nation under God, indivisible, v liberty and also justice because that all.The seventh wrinkles is a tribute to our equipped Forces, because that it is v the armed Forces that we safeguard our country and also our flag versus all she enemies, even if it is they be found within or there is no the borders of our republic.The eighth wrinkles is a tribute to the one who gone into in to the valley of the zero of death, that we might see the irradiate of day, and also to honor mother, because that whom it flies on Mother"s Day.The 9th fold is a tribute to womanhood; because that it has actually been with their faith, love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and also women who have made this country an excellent have to be molded.The tenth wrinkles is a tribute to father, for he, too, has offered his sons and daughters for the defense of ours country because they were an initial born.The eleventh fold, in the eyes of a Hebrew citizen, represents the lower portion of the seal the King David and also King Solomon, and also glorifies, in your eyes, the God the Abraham, Isaac, and also Jacob.The twelfth fold, in the eyes of a Christian citizen, represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in your eyes, God the Father, the Son, and also Holy Ghost.

When the flag is completely folded, the stars room uppermost, reminding us of our nationwide motto, "In God us Trust."

(Wait for the honor Guard or Flag information to inspect the flag--after the inspection, resume reading.)

After the flag is totally folded and tucked in, it takes on the figure of a cocked hat, ever reminding us of the soldiers who offered under general George Washington and also the sailors and marines who served under Captain man Paul Jones that were complied with by their comrades and shipmates in the armed Forces of the joined States, preserving for united state the rights, privileges, and also freedoms we gain today.

13 Folds because that 13 Colonies

You may have heard that the the 13 folds stand for the 13 coloniesthat signed the declaration of Independence and also became the first 13 states.

(New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island, Connecticut, new York, brand-new Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, north Carolina, south Carolina, and also Georgia.)

 Maybe. Here is a the promotes the 13 State Symbolism.


Flag urgently Script

Fold 1: The 13 stripes stand for the initial 13 states: Delaware, Pennsylvania, new Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, southern Carolina, brand-new Hampshire, Virginia, new York, phibìc Carolina, and also Rhode Island

Fold 2: The 50 stars stand for our 50 United states of America

Fold 3: "I know not what food others might take; however as for me, offer me liberty or give me death", Patrick Henry

Fold 4: "These space the time that try men"s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink indigenous the company of their country; yet he the stands the now, deserves the love and also thanks that man and also woman", cutting board Paine

Fold 5: "We hold these truths to it is in self-evident the all men are developed equal. They room endowed by your creator with certain unalienable rights. Among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness", explanation of Independence

Fold 6: "We the human being of the unified States, in bespeak to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, administer for the typical defense, promote the basic welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, execute ordain and also establish this structure of the United claims of America", United claims Constitution

Fold 7: "Congress shall do no legislation respecting an facility of religion, or prohibiting the cost-free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the best of the people peaceably come assemble, and also to petition the government for a redress of grievances", an initial Amendment

Fold 8: "The basis of ours political system is the best of the people to make and to change their constitutions that government", George Washington

Fold 9: "My God! How small do my countrymen know what priceless blessings they are in possession of, and also which no other human being on earth enjoy!" thomas Jefferson

Fold 10: "Fourscore and also seven years earlier our fathers lugged forth ~ above this continent a brand-new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition the all men are developed equal", Abraham Lincoln

Fold 11: "Give me your tired, her poor, her huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, i lift mine lamp alongside the golden door", Emma Lazarus, inscription on the Statue the Liberty

Fold 12: "Ask no what your country can execute for you, but what you have the right to do for her country", john Fitzgerald Kennedy

Fold 13: "I have actually a dream that my four small children will one day live in a country where they will not it is in judged by the color of your skin, however by the content of your character", boy name Luther King, Jr.


Air force Flag folding Script

Lt. Col. Samuel Hudspath, Air pressure protocol chief, said "Though there are no main ceremonies in the Air pressure that need a script to it is in read when a flag is folded, unofficial ceremonies such together retirements regularly do."

“We have had a legacy within the Air pressure of people requesting the a flag be folded, through words, at your retirement ceremony.” 

And below is what castle read during flag folding:

For an ext than 200 years, the American flag has actually been the prize of our nation"s unity, as well as a resource of pride and also inspiration for millions of citizens.

Born on June 14, 1777, the second Continental Congress established that the flag of the United says be thirteen stripes, alternative between seven red and six white; and that the union it is in thirteen stars, white in a blue field representing a brand-new constellation.1

Between 1777 and 1960, the shape and also design of the flag developed into the flag presented before you today. The 13 horizontal stripes stand for the original 13 colonies, when the stars represent the 50 says of the Union. The colour of the flag room symbolic as well; red symbolizes hardiness and valor; white signifies purity and also innocence; and also blue to represent vigilance, perseverance and justice.1

Traditionally, a prize of liberty, the American flag has brought the post of freedom, and also inspired Americans, both at home and abroad.

In 1814, Francis Scott crucial was so relocated at seeing the Stars and Stripes waving after the brothers shelling that Baltimore"s ft McHenry that he wrote the words to The Star Spangled Banner.3

In 1892 the flag inspired Francis Bellamy to compose the "Pledge the Allegiance," our most famed flag salute and patriotic oath.3

In July 1969 the American flag to be "flown" in space when Neil Armstrong planted the on the surface of the moon.3

Today, our flag flies on constellations that Air pressure satellites that circle ours globe, and on the fin flash of our plane in harms means in every edge of the world. Indeed, it flies in the love of every Airman who serves our an excellent Nation. The sun never ever sets on our us Air Force, nor on the flag us so proudly cherish.3

Since 1776 no generation that Americans has been forgive the responsibility of defending freedom... Today"s Airmen stay committed to maintaining the freedom that rather won for us, for generations come come.

By displaying the flag and also giving it a distinctive fold we show respect to the flag, and express our gratitude to those individuals who fought, and continue come fight for freedom, at home and abroad. Due to the fact that the dawn of the 20th century, Airmen have proudly flown the flag in every significant conflict ~ above lands and skies approximately the world. The is their duty ... Our obligation ... To proceed to protect and also preserve the rights, privileges and freedoms the we, as Americans, reap today.

The United states flag represents who we are. It stands for the flexibility we all share and also the pride and also patriotism us feel for our country. Us cherish the legacy, together a beacon of hope to one and also all. Long may the wave.

Flag urgent Script provided By the young Scouts the America

#1 In honor of the thirteen original colonies and also our forefathers who started this good nation, us salute you.

#2 come the men who passed away in the battle for Independence, we salute you.

#3 to those guys who fell in the war of 1812, to preserve our freedom, we salute you.

#4 come the brave soldiers ~ above both sides, The North and The South, in the polite War, we salute you.

#5 to those who melted their blood in the name of hope and also freedom in The an excellent War, we salute you.

#6 because that our fathers and sons who died in the devastating battles of civilization War Two, Pearl Harbor, Anzio, Midway, The Bulge, Iwo Jima, Guadalcanal, Normandy, and Berlin, we salute you.

#7 to the guys of the first Marine Division, who, in a rear guard action at the Chosin Reservoir in Korea conserved their battalion and also the stays of their brother Marines, us salute you.

#8 because that the brave men and also women the our equipped forces who died on the areas of fire in Vietnam and also whose names will certainly live on forever on the hallowed wall, we salute you.

#9 because that our commander in chief, that leads our country in good times, and also bad, we salute you.

#10 because that the young Scouts the America and all the Scouts who have gone prior to us, us salute you.

#11 come God, our parents and also our households who we love and respect, we salute you.

#12 come the men and women that our equipped forces, the Arsenal the Democracy and the Hammer of Freedom, us salute you.

#13 and also last, come freedom, because with out flexibility there is no honor, there is no honor, we space not Americans, and on this us vow, the as long as this flag flies, us salute you.

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How numerous times is the American flag folded?

Typically there are 13 folds once folding the American flag. But, the American flag is easily accessible in many sizes and also even a couple of different ratios, therefore 13 folds won"t constantly end increase in a triangle. In addition, every branch of the military has their very own variations and ceremony as soon as folding the flag. 

Why is the American flag folded right into a triangle?

Common folklore says the flag is folded right into a triangle similar to the hats worn by colonial soldiers. The is an ext likely that the flag is folded into a triangle because it functions well. Over time, the procedure has become ceremonial, reflecting respect for the flag itself and all that it represents. 

Is there a proper method to wrinkles the American flag?

There is no "official" preeminence to follow when folding the American flag. However, a traditional has come to be common. Generally, there are 13 folds relocating from the fly finish toward the canton, and also ending in a triangle. Practically, this functions well because that display, and also storage. It likewise has become a classic ceremony perform at vital events.

Do the crease of the American flag have meaning?

The short answer is, yes, but not officially. Over there are plenty of scripts the are typically read during American flag urgent ceremonies. The scripts define the folds and also what lock represent. The scripts share common themes, but are open up for interpretation and there is no global answer.

Knowing how to effectively fold her American Flag is a valuable skill. It disclosure flag care, maintenance, for sure storage, and also demonstrates good respect.