Have you ever attended a funeral that honors a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces? If so, perhaps you noticed the honor guards pay meticulous attention to precisely folding the flag 13 times. So, what is the meaning of folding the American flag?
Military funerals are known for traditions that have symbolic meanings. You may have thought the flag folding was to symbolize the original 13 colonies. However, as this explanation from the American Legion points out, the meaning is much deeper than that. The 13 folds represent a series of important elements of a person’s life, such as their faith, the honoring of their parents and of course, a tribute to the service they gave to their country.
Funerals are a time to honor the life of the deceased. And in the case of a United States service member, it’s also a time to give thanks for the people who have sacrificed so that our country may remain free.
There are many ways we can care for military families. But you may have never considered that understanding the symbolism of the folding of the American flag is also an excellent way to show care. When you’re respectful of the traditions of a military service, you also honor the dignity of the person who served our country.