The Meaning Of The Flag Draped Coffin


For it has been said so truthfully that it is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the agitator, who has given us the freedom to protest. It is the soldier who salutes the flag, serves beneath the flag, whose coffin is draped by the flag, who gives that protester the freedom to abuse and burn that flag. – Zell Miller

From Grandpa-Old Soldier

All Americans should be given this lesson. To understand what the flag draped coffin really means……

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

Have you ever noticed 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!

The 1st fold of the flag is a symbol of life.

The 2nd fold is a symbol of the belief in eternal life.

The 3rd fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veterans departing the ranks who gave a portion of their lives for the defense of the country to attain peace throughout the world.

The 4th fold represents the weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in time of war for His divine guidance.

The 5th fold is a tribute to the 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, right or wrong.”

The 6th fold is for where people’s hearts lie. It is with their heart that They pledge allegiance to the flag of the United! States Of America, and the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.

The 7th fold is a tribute to its Armed Forces, for it is through the Armed Forces that they protect their country and their flag against all her enemies, whether they be found within or without the boundaries of their republic.

The 8th fold is a tribute to the one who entered into the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day.!

The 9th fold is a tribute to womanhood, and Mothers. For it has been through their faith, their love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great has been molded.

The 10th fold is a tribute to the father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense of their country since they were first born.

The 11th fold represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon and glorifies in the Hebrews eyes, 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 Holy Spirit.

The 13th fold or when the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost reminding them of their nations motto, “In God We Trust.”

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.

There are some traditions and ways of doing things that have deep meaning. In the future, you’ll see flags folded and now you will know why.


About Tom Roland

EE for 25 Years, Two Patents - now a certified PMP. Married twice, burned once. One son with Asperger's Syndrome. Two cats. Conservative leaning to the Right. NRA Life Member.
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9 Responses to The Meaning Of The Flag Draped Coffin

  1. Mr Pink Eyes says:

    I never knew this, very interesting.

  2. Joe says:

    Thanks, Tom. Happy 4th!

  3. Indigo Red says:

    I learned this two years ago when my WWII veteran father was put to rest. Thanks for publishing the tradition as too many have no idea.

  4. wordsmith says:

    I believe Zell Miller is citing someone else, whose name now escapes me. A military chaplain, maybe, who originally said it? True words, regardless.

    I’ve heard different things regarding the tradition, as well as a couple of differing versions.

  5. Jennifer says:

    Thank you for the lesson, Tom, I never knew that! It will bring new meaning when I see it!

  6. Joe says:

    I’m an old geezer who has never seen this. Thanks Tom.

  7. Leslie says:

    Excellent quote and post! Good information to learn and save and send on to others!


    *thank you for the link! I linked you as well.

  8. Debbie says:

    I had no idea about the meaning of each fold of the flag.

    I can tell you that the military funeral with all the pomp and circumstance, the firing of the rifles, the playing of taps, … is a moving, chilling event to attend.

  9. Tom says:

    Thank you, everyone, for the comments.

    I hope that everyone had a great 4th of July weekend.

Comments are closed.