Introduction: How to Properly Fold a American Flag

Picture of How to Properly Fold a American Flag

Here is how to properly fold a American flag.
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Step 1: Folding

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Begin by holding the flag waist high with another person on the other side.

Step 2: Folding

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Fold lengthwise bring the striped half up over the blue field.

Step 3: Folding

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Fold Lengthwise again bringing the blue field back on top of the stripes.

Step 4: Folding

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Fold the lower right hand corner to the upper edge to form a triangle Just like a paper football.

Step 5: Tucking

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Their will be a peace left you fold it in half and tuck it in the corner.


Don,t try this at home (author)2009-11-26

Just a note when folding a 50 star flag there should be one star on the top and 3 on the bottom like shown.
PS. never let your flag touch the ground if it does take it to the boy scouts of the young marines.If you cant find them private message me and mail it to me and I can take care of it.

I saw a folded flag on a TV show (The Man That Killed Usama Bin Laden) and it had 5 stars across the bottom then 3 on the next row an finally 1 on the top. Is that improper or just a different style? It sure looked good.

You don't have to take it to Scouts or young Marines, just wash it (which you might want to do anyway as the table cloth looks a bit grubby?)


Arbitror (author)lemonie2010-05-24

If you think about it, putting an American flag down on that grubby/gross table is a lot worse than putting it down on a clean floor (hoping your floor is cleaner than that table...)

I agree with you, L.

It was only a spot that i dident see when i was takeing pics and im just telling you people how its done if you want to disrespect a flag go live in Russia

Lol! Your making some people very angry right now!

like me i just dident see that 1 spot on the table that i dident see on the tablecloth it is not no big deal it is really starting to make me mad

If your flag touches the ground you need to burn it.

No you don't. If it's not fit to be displayed, a properly conducted burning may be appropriate. Flags can be cleansed (see link on previous comment)


You don't wash a flag it is more disrespectful to throw it in the washer and wash it. I know that if you drop it you need to burn it. I got family that was in the military so i know how things are done but you are in the UK so what would you know about American flags.

Hold on a second, if I fell in the mud, I would rather be cleaned than incinerated! Don't flags have feelings?

I would never have my flag cleaned who knows what they do to it in the dry cleaners.

Most of what I know is in the link I posted (by the Independence Hall Association, a nonprofit organization in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, founded in 1942). Did you look at it?


Yes i did look but i dident even see it in there.

 Hmph... Allow me to clarify. The act states that any flag knowingly trodden upon, allowed to touch the ground, or disrespected in any way is liable to be burned.
Ones that are worn out can be burned completely so that nothing is left.

Accidents happen and flags that are dropped as a mistake do not have to be burned.


It is disrespectful if you let it touch the ground.don't ask why but it is.

Civicalized (author)2011-04-28

A little late, but I figured I would chime in. I spent 4 years in the Marine Corps, 2 of which was in a grunt unit where I did a combat deployment, and the other two in Washington DC as part of the Ceremonial unit, doing funerals and such. I was also part of one of the five firing parties which did 21 gun salutes, and I personally participated in well over 300 funerals in Arlington. Ok, now that I got my credentials out of the way, I will go ahead and say your flag technique needs work. You folded yours rather loosely but I will forgive that. In the end, however, you do NOT tuck the extra into the flag. You simply fold the last inch or so, then fold that remaining flap behind the rest of the flag.

Another thing which bothered me about your commenting: You seem to think that a flag should be destroyed the second it is dirty or dropped. So you are saying that if the corner of a Garrison Flag (20 feet x 38 feet) happens to touch the ground as it is being carried away, then it should be destroyed? Like others said, flags fall. It happens. You should only have one destroyed if it is un-presentable. As a combat veteran, I value the flag as almost sacred.

I am pretty understanding of misinformed people, but you are outright lying. Judging by your Eagle, Globe and Anchor avatar I am guessing you are in the Young Marines. You aren't a real Marine so please don't act like one or start fights with my sacred emblem representing you.

PS. Marine is capitalized. FYI.

Sorry that i was misinformed i learned much more about the flag in the past 2 years. I was in the young Marines but i am gonna go sign up for the marines in 6 months. I am sorry for the misunderstandings.

M4industries (author)2009-12-30

 You split an infinitive in the title.

Arbitror (author)M4industries2010-01-10

You can still see it in the URL!

what url

The URL is the white box with black words that you see at the top of your internet browser, where you type in what site you want to go to...

Kids these days...

I dont see it

One quick search in Google...

well you can always see the url


I meant you can still see "A American Flag", which should be "An American Flag"...

Next time read first, then talk..

barefootbohemian (author)2010-01-16

 I really am glad I came across this, wish I had a few months ago. I have my father-in-laws casket flag from back in the early 70's, and I put it into a case.  It was killing me to see it stored in a plastic bag up in a closet for years.  But even knowing how to fold it, I still couldn't seem to get it perfect.  I think all those years in that bag didn't help any.  It was folded in there, but still it had been crushed with other things and was kind of wrinkled and disheveled.  I put it out across the pool table to do the folding since I was the only one here, 
but I kept wondering if it would be ok to iron it. Would it? I did get the stars in the proper alignnment, but not just as nicely aligned as I wanted them. 

Yes i do think it would be ok to iron it just don't burn a hole in it. The flag in the pic below is a casket flag to.

Bongmaster (author)2009-11-26

kool :)
tho pretty much how to fold any if not all flags ;)

Nope every country has its own way of doing things like rimar 2000 said.

rimar2000 (author)2009-11-26

It is interesting that every country has its own "liturgy" about it. In my country (Argentina) assumes that the flag should not be bent, except in exceptional cases. This odd arrangement is not known by most people. Transcribe something I found about it on the Web (

English translation:
"...I also told him that the argentina flag should never bend, except in a few isolated cases. At the ceremony each day, the flag is grasped (take / takes) and then left as is. Nothing to fold it like the image of burials of famous U.S. military that are folded the flag in triangle. Here banner material is deposited as is, say. The ceremonies flag (which gets the highest student score on the acts mentioned) also bend ever. Some exceptions are when stored in special boxes, but I don't remember why you do that..."

Spanish original:
"...También le contaba yo que la bandera argentina nunca se debe doblar, salvo en un par de casos aislados. En la ceremonia de cada día, la bandera se agarra (toma/coge) y luego se deja tal como está. Nada de doblarla como la imagen de los entierros de militares famosos de USA en que van doblando la bandera en triangulitos. Acá se deposita la tela bandera tal como queda, digamos. La de ceremonias (la que se lleva el alumno de más alto puntaje en los actos que mencionaba) tampoco se dobla nunca. Algunas excepciones se dan cuando se guarda en unas cajas especiales, pero no recuerdo por qué se hace eso..."

That would be tough not to fold a flag and not let it touch the ground.

cupcake811 (author)2009-11-25

  It is really important that this is done right otherwise it is disrespectful. Nice job.

lemonie (author)2009-11-25

Tidy folding.



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