The American Flag may be folded for a number of reasons. Since the Flag Code specifies that the flag should not be carried flat, folding the flag may be necessary for transportation, storage or display. The flag is also folded by members of the Armed Forces after it is lifted from a casket at a military funeral. It is then given to the next of kin.
The Flag Code does not specify how the flag should be folded, but a standard flag will require thirteen folds. To specify there should be two lengthwise folds and eleven triangular folds.
When folding the flag in this manner gained popularity, there wasn't a symbolic meaning associated with the folds. Through the years, the public has attributed meaning to each fold. Most of these meanings are religious, and all of them reflect the ideals of this country.
Step 1: Facing each other two people should hold the flag horizontally at both ends.
Step 2: Make your first fold lenthwise, bringing the stripes over the union area of the flag. *The first fold of the flag is a symbol of life.
Step 3: Match up the corners, keeping the flag taut.
Step 4: Make another lengthwise fold, match up the corners and keep the flag taut.
*The second fold of the flag is a symbol of a belief in eternal life. *The third fold is a symbol of honor and remembrance of veterans.
Step 5: Keeping the flag taut at both ends, fold a triangle from fold to edge. Keep folding triangles, making sure you keep a 90 °angle and your folds are smooth. *The fourth fold is a symbol of weakness. *The fifth fold is a tribute to our country. *The sixth fold is where our hearts lie. *The seventh fold is a tribute to our Armed Forces.
Step 6: Continue folding triangles in the same manner. *The eighth fold is a tribute to the one who entered into the valley of the shadow of death, so that we may see the light.
Step 7: Continue folding triangles onto the union of the flag. *The ninth fold is a tribute to womanhood *The tenth fold is a tribute to fathers *The eleventh fold represents the lower portion of the seal of King David & King Solomon, glorifying the God of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob. *The twelfth fold represents the emblem of eternity and glorifies the God of the Father, the Son & Holy Ghost.
Step 8: Fold the last triangle and tuck the ends in.
*When the folds are complete, the stars are uppermost and remind us of our national motto, "In God we Trust." *The flag will resemble a cocked hat, representing soldiers, Marines & Sailors of the past & present.