Meaning of the 13 Folds of the American Flag

Meaning of the 13 Folds of the American Flag – It is said that American flag is folded 13 times and each fold has a meaning.

Meaning of the 13 Folds of the American Flag - It is said that American flag is folded 13 times and each fold has a meaning.
  1. The first fold of our flag is a symbol of life.
  2. The second fold signifies our belief in eternal life.
  3. The third fold is made in honor and tribute of the veteran departing our ranks, and who gave a portion of his or her life for the defense of our country to attain peace.
  4. The fourth fold exemplifies our weaker nature as citizens trusting in God; it is to Him we turn for His divine guidance.

  1. The fifth fold is an acknowledgment 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, right or wrong.”
  2. The sixth fold is for where our hearts lie. It 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.
  3. The seventh fold is a tribute to our armed forces, for it is through the armed forces that we protect our country and our flag against all enemies.
  4. 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 to honor our mother, for whom it flies on Mother’s Day.
  5. The ninth fold is an honor to womanhood, for it has been through their faith, love, loyalty, and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great have been molded.
  6. The 10th fold is a tribute to father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense of our country since he or she was first-born.
  7. The 11th fold, in the eyes of Hebrew citizens, represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon and glorifies, in their eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
  8. The 12th fold, in the eyes of a Christian citizen, represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in their eyes, God the Father, the Son, and Holy Ghost.
  9. The last fold, when the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost, reminding us of our national motto, “In God We Trust.”

One thing I always remembered in Scouts when folding the American Flag was, it ended up being in a triangle shape. You were not to see any blood. That means no red color should be shown. Only the blue ban with stars should be shown when properly folded.


I have had some people reach out to me and tell me this is false. I had to look into it. I did however find this same thing, stated above, on many, many sites.

However, According to Snopes, there are some mix truths in this. On their site they say that Custom has ascribed specific meanings to each of the 13 folds applied to a U.S. flag is true. However, they state that these meanings are false that are listed above.

I am not sure who came up with these, but they are nice ideas of the meaning. Does anyone know who came up with these?

First published November 2018. Last updated or republished June 18, 2019.

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1 thought on “Meaning of the 13 Folds of the American Flag

  1. Thank you very much for the meaning of the 13 folds of the American Flag. I lost the insert I received yesterday at the ceremony. It was so hard to find this information but, you have it here. I’d love to see it all on one side of the sheet & on the backside have The 91st Psalm & The 91st Brigade info printed. Thank You Very Much for your Print Friendly version.

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