At military funerals, have you ever noticed how the honor guard pays meticulous attention to folding the American flag thirteen times? You probably thought this was to symbolize the original thirteen colonies, but we learn something new every day.
The first fold of the flag is a symbol of life.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 them the rights, privileges and freedoms they enjoy today.
The second fold is a symbol of the belief in eternal life.
The third fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veterans departing the ranks who gave a portion of their lives for the defense of the country to attain peace throughout the world.
The fourth fold represents the 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 the 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 people’s hearts lie. It is with their heart that they pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible with Liberty and Justice for all.
The seventh fold is a tribute to its Armed Forces, for it is through the Armed Forces that they protect their country and their flag against all her enemies, whether they be found within or without the boundaries of their 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.
The ninth fold is a tribute to womanhood and mothers. 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 their country since they were first born.
The eleventh fold represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon and glorifies, in the Hebrews eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
The twelfth fold represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in the Christians eyes, God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
The thirteenth fold, or when the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost reminding them of their nation's motto, “In God We Trust.”