Flag Folding

If you are considering transporting, displaying, or presenting the U.S. flag, it is best to do so in an honorable way. There are twelve steps to folding the U.S. flag, and each fold holds its own meaning.

Before you Begin

When folding the flag you want to make sure it never touches the ground. To ensure this, it is best for at least two people to fold the flag together, or for the flag to be folded on top of a table.

Always start with the flag parallel to the ground. The stars and stripes section represents the “top” while the stripes only section represents the “bottom”.

Begin by holding the flag waist-high with another person so that its surface is parallel to the ground.

Step 1 - The Liberty Fold

The first fold in the flag stands for liberty

Fold the bottom half (stripe section) lengthwise over the field of stars, holding the bottom (stripes) and top (stars and stripes) edges securely. The flag should appear to have all stripes and no stars but a small portion of blue.

Step 2 - The Unity Fold

The second fold in the flag represents unity

Take the bottom with the small portion of blue and fold the flag again lengthwise. The flag should now show both stars and stripes with its full length but only a quarter of its width. The new “bottom” has a complete fold (folded edge) while the new “top” has folds and openings (open edge).

Step 3 - The Justice Fold

The third fold stands for justice

Now make a triangular fold by bringing the bottom of the striped corner to meet the top edge of the flag.

Step 4 - The Perseverance Fold

The fourth fold symbolizes perseverance

Now that the flag resembles a trapezoid with a triangular end, fold the triangle inward to form the second triangle. With two triangles folded inward, the flag should now resemble a rectangle.

Steps 5-12

5 -The Hardiness Fold
6 - The Valor Fold
7 - The Purity Fold
8 - The Innocence Fold
9 - The Sacrifice Fold
10 - The Honor Fold
11 - The Independence Fold
12 - The Truth Fold

Continue the triangular folding process (from trapezoid to rectangle) until the entire length of the flag is folded leaving only a “triangle pillow”.


When the flag is completely folded, only a triangular blue field of stars should be visible. Now the U.S. flag is ready to be transported, showcased, or presented.
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