Here we are for Day Three of the Forever We’ll Remember Memorial Day countdown. Let’s go!
Did you know that the number thirteen is a number with a lot of meaning to America?
It was thirteen colonies that originally made up our great country. Those small little colonies would eventually be the birthing ground of the American War for Independence.
Our flag is emblazoned with thirteen stripes—representing the original thirteen colonies. The Great Seal of The United States bears thirteen stars. The shield in front of the eagle has thirteen stripes. The eagle itself carries an olive branch with thirteen olives—representing peace. In the other talon it carries thirteen arrows—representing war. The motto found on our seal is, E pluribus unum—a phrase with thirteen letters, oddly enough.
Thirteen is also the number of times our flag is folded before being presented to the family of a hero who’s coffin the flag draped. Not many people know what each fold symbolizes, or even that they symbolize anything at all!
When one of our nation’s heroes die, our flag drapes their coffin. Before the hero is finally laid to rest, the flag is lifted from the coffin and ceremoniously folded into a perfect triangle consisting of thirteen folds.
1.First Fold Is a Symbol of Life.
It is fitting that the first fold symbolizes life, for it is because of the life of the hero, who’s coffin the flag drapes, that we are free to live our lives. It is because these brave heroes lived and died that we can live in freedom.
Also, it is because of the life that they gave that our beautiful nation survives. It is with their last breath that America lives on.
2. Second Fold Signifies Our Belief In Eternal Life
Once again our Christian heritage can be found coming out even in the way we fold our flag. Belief in eternal life is the most foundational truth our nation is built on.
3. Third Fold Is In Honor of The Veteran Departing
This third fold is a tribute, if you will, to the hero for which the flag is folded. They sacrificed on behalf of our country, to keep us free and safe.
4. Fourth Fold Represents Our Weaker Nature
We are only weak humans, and through the course of time, it has been God that we have turned to in time of war and time of peace. It is to God that we look for Divine Wisdom beyond our finite minds. This fourth fold represents that, as an ever constant reminder.
5. Fifth Fold Is a Tribute To America
Love of God and country is the heart of who we are as Americans. It is for our country that our heroes have given their lives.
6. Sixth Fold Signifies Where Our Hearts Lie
When we pledge allegiance to the Flag and the republic for which it stands, we pledge it with our hearts. American’s hearts lie strictly with our country and her flag.
7. Seventh Fold Is In Tribute To Our Armed Forces
It is our military that protects and defends our flag against all enemies, foreign and domestic. It is through their sacrifice and devotion to our flag that we even have a nation to pledge allegiance to.
8. Eighth Fold Is in Honor of the One Who Died For Freedom
Taken from the famous Psalm 23, the eighth fold is a tribute to those who passed through “the valley of the shadow of death”, that we might live free.
9. Ninth Fold Is a Tribute To Womanhood
The Ninth fold is in honor of women. For it is the faith, love, loyalty, and devotion of American women that has helped form and influence those who have served, fought, and died for our nation. It is women throughout our history—mothers, sisters, wives, daughters—that have sustained and strengthened our heroes in times of war through their undying love and loyalty.
10. Tenth Fold Is a Tribute To Fathers
It isn’t only the women who suffer and endure grief for our nation’s losses. The fathers give their sons to fight, and in so doing give a part of themselves.
11. Eleventh Fold Represents the Seal of King David
This fold is in honor of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
12. Twelfth Fold Represents Eternity
Fold Twelve signifies our trust in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost.
13. Thirteenth Fold Signifies Our Nation’s Motto
The blue background on our flag, signifies honor. When it is draped over our nation’s heroes, the stars and field of blue lie over them, signifying the states for which each hero has fought.
This last fold leaves the stars facing upward. This reminds us of our nation’s motto—”In God we trust.”
The folded flag itself is filled with meaning. For when it is folded into a triangle, it has the resemblance of a cocked hat. This reminds us of the brave men who served in the War for Independence during our nation’s founding.
You may or may not have ever seen a flag folded. You may or may not have known what the folds mean and represent, but from here on, you will know the meanings behind each single fold. You will never see a folded flag the same way ever again. For you will remember the meaning with which each fold is made, the heartache behind each one, and the task set before us to always remember.
Forever we’ll remember!
Please let me know what you thought of this post in the comments. Did you know what the meanings behind each fold in our flag was?