When you have asked yourself where can I buy an American flag, sourced this and purchased your USA Flag, you will want to maybe become interested in the respect and ceremony that is showed to the National symbol on an everyday basis. We outline some of this below with the hope it is of benefit to all citizens of this great country.
Guidelines for conducting Ceremonies of the American Flag
Any ceremony should be accompanied around simplicity and respect, rather that pomp and exaggeration. There are various terms for the participants around a flag ceremony:
Carrier – There is the carrier or bearer of the flag. This is the person who holds and carries the flag. There is one of these per flag.
Color guard -There is the color guard. This is a team that stands with or guards the flag. Usually this could be an even number of say four or six persons.
Caller– Who calls out or advises the proceedings of the ceremony, announces each part of the ceremonial stages .
Standing to Attention- This is to drawn attention for the commencement of the ceremony to begin
Color guard advance – This is signal for the flag to be placed in position in a stand or to attach this to a flagpole lanyard rope
Color Guard Honor the Colors – This is the call for the color guard to salute the American Flag
Pledge to the Flag – Then there will be the General call to “Join in a Pledge to the Flag”
Color Guard, Retire the Color- This is to request the color guard to remove the flag from the stand or to lower and remove the flag from the flagpole and prepare for folding.
Folding of the Flag – This is done by two or more participants in a careful and particular way. This is outlined separately here.
Color Guard Dismissed – The color guard may be “dismissed” at which point the guard will leave in formation [if there are more than one person in the guard] with or without the flag. If they leave without the flag, the flag will have been said to have been “posted”.
Each fold of the flag has significance and meaning. The flag is to be folded in an atmosphere of quiet and respect. It is held by the ceremony participants who could be 2, 4 or say 6 in number.
The flag is folded in half lengthwise and then in half again. It may have to be folded three times. It has thus been quartered or third-ed along its length. It is then folded from the end opposite the canton [stars and stripes rectangle]. This is done by folding one corner to the top opposite edge forming a triangle.
The outer point is then folded over the straight edge formed by the first fold. This gives a straight edge at the end. The folding then is repeated as per the first fold till all the folds have been done except for a last possible fold.
At this point the folded flag has the appearance of a square and a triangle opposite each other . The last fold of the American flag is now made from the opposite end by folding the triangle which gives the appearance of two triangles laying side by side.
Then the new flap formed is tucked this under the flap of the main triangular folded package. This gives a triangular folded package with the stars showing on the outside as shown below . Much the same as the old time corner hats. See below some diagrams for clarification
- The 1st fold of our flag is a symbol of life.The first fold is that which halves the flag.
- The 2nd fold is symbolic of our belief in the eternal life.
- The 3rd fold is made in honor and remembrance of the war fallen veteran departing our ranks who gave his life for the defense of our country to attain peace for America and the world.
- The 4th fold represents our vulnerable nature, for as American citizens trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in times of war for His divine guidance.
- The 5th 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, whether it be right or wrong.”
- The 6th fold shows us where peoples hearts lie. This 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 7th fold is a tribute to our Armed Forces, for it is through the protection by the Armed Forces that we protect our country and our flag against all her enemies. This is whether they be within the homeland or outside these boundaries of our country.
- The 8th fold is a tribute to the one who entered in to 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 9th fold is a tribute to womanhood; for it has been through their love, faith, loyalty and devotion that the character of all men and women been molded and this has made this country great .
- The 10th fold is a tribute to fatherhood, for he, too, has made and sacrificed his sons and daughters for the defense of our country from the moment they were first born.
- The 11th fold, represents part of the Seal of King David and King Solomon in the eyes of all citizens of the Hebrews, represents eternity and the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
- The 12th fold represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies in the Christians eyes, God the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit.
- The 13th fold will show the stars upright and represents “In God we Trust”.
The flag is thus folded up to one short fold so that the last fold is made from the opposite direction giving a shape that is two triangles next to each other. The last fold is made by folding over and tucking in one triangle into the pocket of the other thus finishing with a triangular parcel.
When the flag is completely folded, the stars are shown uppermost, and this reminds us of our National motto, “In God we Trust.” The Honor Guard or Flag Detail then inspects the flag for correctness.
After this inspection the ceremony resumes. Here we ever reminding to us of the soldiers who served under General George Washington and the sailors and marines who served under and who were followed by their comrades Armed Forces and Navy of the United States. Who unselfishly fought to preserve for us the privileges, rights and freedoms that we enjoy every day.
If you have not acquired a patriotic flag that is made in America by Americans then you should. Both internal and outdoor examples. Familiarizing oneself with the traditions is deeply satisfying and a reminding of our great history.