“To protect our history, our pride, our honor, our flag”
FLAG EDUCATION — The American Legion was instrumental in convening the first National Flag Conference in 1923 where representatives from various patriotic organizations drafted the U.S. Flag Code. The Code established a set of guidelines for civilian flag courtesy and was later adopted by Congress in 1942. Today at the Post level, The American Legion distributes flag etiquette materials and offers instruction and demonstrations for proper care of the American flag. The American Legion also supplies the 16,000 flags placed on the graves of fallen American and Allied soldiers overseas each Memorial Day.
When to Display your Flag
The flag should be displayed, from sunrise to sunset, on all days when the weather permits, especially on:
New Year’s Day, January 1.
Martin Luther King’s Birthday, Third Monday in January.
Washington’s Birthday, February 22.
Mother’s Day, Second Sunday in May.
Armed Forces Day, Third Saturday in May.
Memorial Day (half-staff until noon), Last Monday in May.
Flag Day, June 14th.
Independence Day, July 4th.
Labor Day, First Monday in September.
Constitution Day, September 17th.
Columbus Day, October 12th.
Veterans Day, November 11th.
Thanksgiving Day, Fourth Thursday in November.
Christmas Day, December 25th.
Election Days (various).
Federally observed dates of the above holidays may be different from the actual dates.
Such days as may be proclaimed by the President of the United States.
State and Local Holidays.
Folding the United States Flag
- Bring the striped half up over the blue field.
- Then fold it in half again.
- Bring the lower striped corner to the upper edge forming a triangle.
- Then fold the upper point in to form another triangle. Continue until the entire length of the flag is folded.
- When you get near the end – nothing but the blue field showing – tuck the last bit into the other folds to secure it.
Why the United States Flag is Folded 13 Times
Have you ever noticed on TV or at military funerals that the Honor Guard pays meticulous attention to correctly folding the US flag 13 times? Each fold of the U.S. flag has an important meaning.
- 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 remembrance of the veterans departing our ranks who gave a portion of their lives for the defense of our country to attain peace throughout the world.
- The fourth fold represents our 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 fifth fold is a tribute 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.”
- 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.
- 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 her enemies, whether they are found within or 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 to honor mother, for whom it flies on Mother’s Day.
- The ninth fold is a tribute to womanhood; 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 tenth fold is a tribute to the father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense of our country since they were first born.
- The eleventh fold, in the eyes of a Hebrew citizen, 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.
- The twelfth 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 Spirit.
- When the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost reminding us of our nation’s 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. Those 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.
CITIZENS FLAG ALLIANCE — Founded by The American Legion in 1994, the Citizens Flag Alliance is a national coalition of organizations and individual citizens working for a constitutional amendment to allow the states and the federal government to enact flag protection legislation. Thus far, 49 states have passed “memorializing resolutions” calling on the U.S. Congress to pass a flag amendment and send the measure back to the states for ratification. More than 110 organizations have joined the Citizens Flag Alliance. The House of Representatives passed a flag protection amendment in June 1995. The U.S. Senate rejected the amendment in December 1995. The Citizens Flag Alliance continues the campaign to provide the American Flag protection from intentional acts of physical desecration.