By Buddy Blouin
The American flag is a unifying symbol that millions throughout the United States can turn to for a source of pride and connection. But understanding how to fold an American flag is an important patriotic skill that not everyone knows. Every June 14th, our nation celebrates Flag Day, commemorating the creation of Betsy Ross' Stars & Stripes. The flag itself carries much symbolism and meaning, so it is only fitting that one knows how to properly care for it. Read on to learn more about how to properly fold an American flag in a way that shows respect to your country, fellow citizens, and all of those who have served to preserve freedom.

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How to Fold a Flag Properly

The correct method for folding the United States flag is a simple technique that has been laid out by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The overarching United States flag code consists of many rules and regulations on how to take care of and display the American flag, but it does not tell you how to fold an American flag. Though many techniques call for 13 folds, here’s how you can get it done, respectfully, with less of the hassle:
  1. The Union portion featuring the stars should always be to the observer's left. With that in mind, fold the lower stripes up over the blue field.
  2. Take the folded edge and meet the open edge with yet another fold.
  3. The triangular fold is formed by bringing the striped corner of the folded edge to the open edge.
  4. A second triangle is formed by turning the outer point inward, parallel to the open edge.
  5. Continue folding in triangles for the entire length of the flag until it’s a triangular folded flag displaying only a blue visible field.
The folds of the American flag help preserve its grace and dignity. We see American flags every day in various forms, and knowing how to achieve a folded American flag the right way can help you properly handle and store flags when necessary.

Why Make a Folded Flag Into a Triangle?

Have you ever wondered what the meaning is behind the 13 folds of Old Glory?

Each fold actually represents something and is profoundly rooted in both patriotism and Christianity. It’s an interesting proposition considering the separation of church and state that helped found this country. Then again, so too did many Christian principles and philosophies.

Religious freedoms have been an American ideal since its inception. They played a large role in the founding of the first colonies established in America and how early documents and procedures were drafted by our Founding Fathers. But it’s undeniable that there are some religious affiliations with the government and Christian themes, despite any efforts to keep them separated, and a folded flag is no different.

What Is the Meaning Behind the Colors of the American Flag?

Every part of the American Flag has meaning, so it should come as no surprise that the colors have deeper symbolism as well. The red represents valor and bravery. The blue represents vigilance, justice, and perseverance while the white means innocence and purity.

Folding the American Flag Properly Shows Pride for Your Country

America isn’t perfect, but it is a wonderful country that provides the opportunity to pursue happiness and create a better future for yourself and your family. When we know how to fold an American flag and use this information, we are showing pride in our country, ourselves, and our fellow citizens. It is a great skill to have that projects patriotism and appreciation to the United States and those who have served to protect it.

As you celebrate Flag Day 2024, remember to practice proper etiquette when showing your pride for our nation. Here are some key practices to abide by.

Traditionally, the flag can only be flown from sunrise to sunset. However, if you plan on flying the flag after dark, make sure that it is properly lit up, showing respect for our nation.

Next, plan to lower your flag in the evening. This action should be done in a manner that shows respect and is ceremonious.

Lastly, when raising or lowering the flag, be sure to place your right hand over your heart and never let it touch the ground.

This Flag Day, remember to practice flag etiquette, take some time for a moment of gratitude, reflect on what this country means to you, and finally, remember to properly fold and store your American Flag for future celebrations.



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