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FLAG FOLDING & PRESENTATION PROTOCOLS

Military Funeral Honors

Upon the family's request, every eligible Veteran shall receive a military funeral honors ceremony that includes folding and presenting the United States burial flag and the playing of Taps.

The law defines a military funeral honors detail as consisting of two or more uniformed military persons, with at least one being a member of the Veteran's parent service of the armed forces.

A United States flag drapes the casket of deceased veterans to honor the memory of their service to the country.

Flag Folding Ceremony

The ceremonial folding and presentation of the flag is a moving tribute of lasting import to the veteran's family.

The flag is placed on a closed casket so the union blue field is at the head and over the left shoulder of the deceased.

After Taps is played, the flag is carefully folded into the symbolic tri-cornered shape. A properly proportioned flag will fold 13 times on the triangles, representing the 13 original colonies. The folded flag is emblematic of the tri-cornered hat worn by the Patriots of the American Revolution. When folded, no red or white stripe is to be evident, leaving only the blue field with stars. It is then presented as a keepsake to the next of kin or an appropriate family member.

The Flag Presentation Protocol

  • Stand facing the flag recipient and hold the folded flag waist high with the straight edge facing the recipient.
  • Lean toward the flag recipient and solemnly present the flag to the recipient.

Effective April 17, 2012, the Department of Defense standardized the flag presentation verbiage for military funeral honors ceremonies. The following verbiage will be used when presenting the American flag during the funeral service:

'On behalf of the President of the United States, (the United States Army; the United States Marine Corps; the United States Navy; the United States Air Force; or the United States Coast Guard), and a grateful Nation, please accept this flag as a symbol of our appreciation for your loved one's honorable and faithful service.'

Who is eligible for military funeral honors? Click HERE to find out more information about this important ceremony.

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