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Home > Articles & Consumer Guides > Folding the American Flag

Folding the American Flag

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American Flag

Correct Method of Folding The United States Flag

(A) Fold the lower striped section over the blue field.

American Flag


(B) Folded edge is then folded over to meet the open edge.

American Flag


(C) A triangular fold is then started by bringing the striped corner of the folded edge to the open edge.

American Flag


(D) Outer point is then turned inward parellel with the open edge to form a second triangle.

American Flag


(E) Triangular folding is continued until the entire length of the flag is folded in the triangular shape of a cocked hat with only the blue field visible (F).

American Flag American Flag

1. The flag is issued on behalf of the Department of Veterans Affairs to honor the memory of one who has served our country.

2. When used to drape the casket, the flag should be placed as follows:

(a) Closed Casket - When the flag is used to drape a closed casket, it should be so placed that the union (blue field) is at the head and over the left shoulder of the deceased.

(b) Half Couch (Open) - When the flag is used to drape a half-couch casket, it should be placed three layers to cover the closed half of the casket in such a manner that the blue field will be the top fold, next to the open portion of the casket on the deceased's left.

(c) Full Couch (Open) - When the flag is used to drape a full-couch casket, it should be folded in a triangular shape and placed in the center part of the head panel of the casket cap, just above the left shoulder of the deceased.

3. During a military commitment ceremony, the flag which was used to drape the casket is held waist high over the grave by the pallbearers and, immediately after the sounding of "Taps," is folded in accordance with the instructions above.

4. The flag should not be lowered into the grave or allowed to touch the ground. When taken from the casket, it should be folded as above.

5. The flag should form a distinctive feature of the ceremony of unveiling a statue or monument, but it should never be used as a covering for the statue or monument.

6. The flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stowed in such a manner as will permit it to easily be torn, soiled or damaged in any way.

7. The flag should never have placed upon it, nor any part of it, nor attached to it, any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.

8. The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.

9. The flag, when badly worn, torn, or soiled should no longer be publicly displayed, but privately destroyed by burning in such a manner as to convey no suggestion of disrespect or irreverence.

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