How to Properly Fold a American Flag

About: Well im a so called jack of all traits. I do everything from bushcraft woodcarving pyrography bonecarving wilderness survival chemistry to cooking. I love making things go boom and building.

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

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

Step 2: Folding

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

Step 3: Folding

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

Step 4: Folding

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

Step 5: Tucking

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



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    37 Discussions


    11 months ago on Step 5

    Thanks so much for the demonstration. I was recently given a flag that was flown over the Capital on my daughters birthday and wasn't sure how to properly fold the American flag. I especially appreciate you taking the time to include photographs with your tutorial! Best Wishes.

    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.

    16 replies

    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.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    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

    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

    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.

     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.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    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.

    1 reply

    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.