Once the American flag has been raised from the coffin by the bearers, it always receives its first fold in a lengthwise manner, and it is this initial fold that serves all Americans as a symbol of life itself.
The second fold, which is again made in a lengthwise configuration, symbolizes our belief in the eternal life.
The third fold, the first one that is done in the trianglar manner, is put in place in the American flag in honor and rememberance of the departing veteran. This fold marks the individual as a person who gave a portion of his or her life in defense of our country and to maintain peace through the entire world.
The fourth fold of the American flag denotes our weaker nature; for as concerned American citizens we trust in God and we turn to Him not only in time of peace but in time of war as well for his divine guidance.
The fifth fold is done as a tribute to America itself.
The sixth fold is done to show where all American hearts lie. For it is with our hearts that we "Pledge Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America."
The seventh fold of the flag pays tribute to all men and women of our armed forces, for only these brave individuals have we protected our Nation and our flag against all enemies.
The eighth fold signifies the honor accorded individual before us, a person who now enters into the Valley of the Shadow of Death so that we might all see the light of another day. It also serves to honor this person's mother, for whom we fly the American flag on Mother's Day.
The ninth fold of this veteran's flag pays homage to womanhood, for it is only through a woman's adherence to her faith, her abiding love, her deep loyalty and her unfaltering devotion that the character of all men and women who have made America great has been molded.
The flag's tenth fold honor America's fathers, and we readily acknowledge that it is the father who willingly gives his sons and daughters for the defense of this great country - and the sacrifice of a man's children has been a tragic fact of life since this nation began.
The eleventh fold, as is viewed through the eyes of the Hebrew citizen, represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon, and it glorifies, in their eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It also reminds us of American's acceptance of all faiths.
The twelfth fold, as beheld by American's Christian citizen, represents the emblem of eternity - and glorifies, in their belief, God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
The thirteenth and final fold, having created with its completion a perfect triangle, is the symbol of the traditional "cooked hat" worn by the troops of American's Revolutionary War. These were the first people to openly defend our thirteen colonies against tyranny and oppression.
Please take note that as the bright red and white stripes are gradually folded into the blue union, they disappear in a manner representative of the way each day eventually fades into the blue of the sky here in "The Land of The Free And Home Of The Brave."
As it is handed to the next of kin, our beautiful American flag has given this veteran "Thirteen Farewells." God grant them Eternal Peace.