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Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Folding of the Flag

This last Sunday morning we had 'Armed Services Appreciation Day' at our church. We honored Veterans and they came to our church for the day and shared some patriotic traditions with us, including a "Flag Folding Ceremony". Here is what we were taught by our very own Veterans:

The flag-folding ceremony represents the same religious principles on which our country was originally founded. The portion of the flag denoting honor is the canton of blue containing the stars representing the states our veterans served in uniform. The canton field of blue dresses from left to right and is inverted when draped as a pall on a casket of a veteran who has served our country in uniform.

In the Armed Forces of the United States, at the ceremony of retreat the flag is lowered, folded in a triangle fold and kept under watch throughout the night as a tribute to our nation's honored dead. The next morning it is brought out and, at the ceremony of reveille, run aloft as a symbol of our belief in the resurrection of the body.

(Wait for the Honor Guard or Flag Detail to unravel and fold the flag into a quarter fold-resume reading when Honor Guard is standing ready)

We fold from the stripes towards the stars, for whereas the strips represent the thirteen original colonies that founded our republic and they are now embodied in the fifty sovereign states represented by the stars so that the stars cover the stripes.

The first fold of our Flag is a symbol of life.
The second fold is a symbol of our belief in eternal life.
The third fold is made in honor and remembrances of the Veteran departing our ranks who gave a portion of his life for the defense of our country to attain peace throughout the world not to have been in vain and shall never be forgotten.

The fourth represents our weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in God, for it is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in times of war for His divine guidance.

The fifth fold is a tribute to our country, for in the words of the immortal Stephen Decatur, "Our country, in dealing with other countries, may She always be right, but it is still our country, right or wrong."

The sixth fold -- for this is where our hearts lie -- and it is with our hearts 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 seventh fold is a tribute to our Armed Forces, for it is through these same armed forces that we protect our country and our Flag against all her enemies, whether they be found within our without the boundaries of our republic.

The eighth 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, and this fold is made to honor Mother, for whom it flies on Mother's Day. (insert tears and a moment of silence over the entire auditorium)

The ninth fold is a tribute to our womanhood, for it has been through their faith, love, loyalty, and devotion that the characters of men who have made this country great have been molded.

The tenth fold is a tribute to Father, for he too has given his sons for the defense of our country, since he was first born.

The eleventh fold, for in the eyes of a Hebrew citizen, this represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon, and glorifies in their eyes the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and God of Jacob.

The twelfth fold, for in the eyes of a Christian citizen, this represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies in their eyes God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost.

When the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost, which reminds us of our national motto, "In God We Trust".

(Wait for the Honor Guard or Flag Detail to inspect the flag--after the inspection, resume reading.)

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 us the rights, privileges, and freedoms we enjoy today.

We joined together in the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of our celebration of honor for our Veterans and the choir sang a special for them. Each Veteran was asked to stand and share what branch they served in and what years. It was a very special day and so many people said they had never attended a more patriotic service in their lives. We do this every year and I cry every time.

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1 kind words:

SuperAngel November 15, 2008 at 7:07 PM  

wow! that is great to know! :)
Yes, Grandma did an amazing job!
Love ya!

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