At a military funeral, the honor guard pays meticulous attention to correctly folding the United States of America Flag 13 times. You probably thought it was to symbolize the original 13 colonies, but we learn something new every day!

This time of the year marks the another Memorial Day for me without my Dad, a Marine Corps veteran, who passed away July 2022.

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I spent this Memorial Day weekend driving around to various cemeteries to lay out flowers and remember my other loved ones. I have members of the Air Force, Navy, Army, and Marine Corps in my family. My dad served during the Korean War in the Marine Corps.
My father was given a Marine Corps Funeral Honors ceremony. I sat in the funeral seats staring in a daydream, reflecting on the men and women who served and sacrifices they made for our country for the freedoms that we have.
I was snapped out of my daydream at my Dad's funeral service when I heard the "snap" of the military flag, as the Marine Corps on funeral detail folded the flag and placed it on his coffin.
The Meaning of folding the military flag at a funeral Marine Corps Sign
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What is the Meaning Behind the Military Flag-Draped Coffin?

This weekend, I learned some about the symbolism behind a military funeral ceremony.  I was on Facebook reading an article called "The Meaning of the Flag-Draped Coffin." It is also on the Lanesboro American Legion website. I enjoyed reading this story; it made my eyes swelled with tears of pride. What a valuable and wonderful lesson to learn about the meanings of each of the 13 folds of the American flag. I wish that it could be taught every living and future generations of Americans.

Did you know that at military funerals, the 21-gun salute stands for the sum of the numbers in the year 1776?

The Meaning of the Flag-Draped Coffin

All Americans should be given this lesson. Those who think that America is an arrogant nation should really reconsider that thought. Our Founding Fathers used what they said was God's word and teachings to establish our Great Nation, and I think it's high time for Americans to become educated about this historical symbolism of folding the flag on a military member's coffin.

Please pass it along and be proud of the country we live in, and even more proud of those who serve to protect our 'God-given' rights and freedoms.

Here is how to understand the flag that was laid upon it and is surrendered to so many widows and widowers:

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The 13 folds in the flag-folding tradition symbolize sacrifice, honor, and service. Memorial Day Weekend has extra meaning for military families of the fallen.

Gallery Credit: Jack Balzer

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.
In the future, now when you see flags folded, you'll know why.
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