IntroThere is a specific way to fold the American flag so the only the stars are visible.
How to fold
- Hold flag waist-high so that its surface is parallel to the ground.
- Fold the lower half of the stripe section lengthwise over the blue field.
- Fold the flag again lengthwise with the blue field on the outside.
- Start a triangular fold by bringing the striped corner of the folded edge to the open edge.
- Fold the outer point inward parallel with the open edge to form a second triangle
- Continue folding until the entire length of the flag is folded into a triangle with only the blue field and margin showing.
- Tuck the remaining margin into the pocket formed by the folds at the blue field edge of the flag.
- The properly folded flag should resemble a cocked hat.
Folding ceremonyOn Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and other special days, the Air Force Academy and other groups use a special ceremony when folding the flag. While the flag is being folded, a person reads the following:
- The first fold of our flag is a symbol of life.
- The second fold is a symbol of our belief in the eternal life.
- The third fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veteran departing our ranks who gave a portion of life for the defense of our country to attain a peace throughout the world.
- The fourth fold represents our weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in times of war for His divine guidance.
- The fifth fold is a tribute 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.' [Stephen Decatur was a Navy officer who served during the War of 1812]
- 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.
- 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 enemies, whether they are 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 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 characters of the men and women who have made this country great have been molded.
- The 10th 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 11th 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 12th 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.'