The U.S. flag carries profound significance, symbolizing freedom and pride for all Americans. As such, it holds a central role in numerous ceremonies, including funerals and burials. It is a custom in the U.S Army and Navy to lower the flag at the last note of retreat every day and fold it.
The custom of casket flag folding is a dignified tribute to veterans and their families. The flag is folded 13 times into a tri-cornered shape, with each fold carrying symbolic significance.
The proper way to fold the flag is as follows:
- Step 1: Start by holding the flag at waist height with another person and stretch it out. The flag, at this step, should be parallel to the floor.
- Step 2: Next, fold the bottom half of the section with stripes lengthwise. As such, the stripes will fold over and cover the field of stars. Make sure that both “folders” are holding the top and bottom edges securely.
- Step 3: Then, fold the flag lengthwise once more. The blue field of the flag should now be on the outside.
- Step 4: Bring the stripes corner from the folded edge to the top open edge of the flag to make a triangular fold.
- Step 5: Now, form the second triangle by turning the outer end point inward and parallel to the open edge.
- Step 6: Continue to make the triangle folds all the way until the end of the flag’s entire length.
- Step 7: Check that the completely folded flag showcases the blue field of stars. The red and white parts of the flag should be wrapped into the blue, like the light of day vanishing into the night’s darkness.