Have you ever noticed on TV or at military funerals
that the honor guard pays meticulous attention to
correctly folding the American flag 13 times? I've
known how the 21 gun salute was determined (adding the
individual digits of 1776), but only recently learned
why the flag was folded 13 times when it is lowered or
when it is folded and handed to the widow at the
burial of a veteran.

Here it is:
The first fold of our flag is a symbol of life.
The second fold is a symbol of our belief in eternal
The third fold is made in honor and remembrance of the
veterans departing our ranks who gave a portion of
their lives for the defense of our country to attain
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 time 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."
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 be found within or without the boundaries of our
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, their 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 the father, for he,
too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense
of our countrysince 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 Spirit.
When the flag is completely folded, the stars are
uppermost reminding us of our nation's 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. There
are some traditions and ways of doing things which
have deep meaning. You will see many flags folded in
the coming weeks, and now you will know why.