Flag Draped Coffins

There are many people who want to leave a lasting legacy before they die. They want to be able to do something worthwhile for their loved ones, friends, or country because for them doing so would give them a sense of fulfillment. Those who were able to leave a legacy die happy and content because they know that they have accomplished their mission on Earth.

Using Flag Draped Coffins

Members of the military who died in battle are given military honors during their funeral; war veterans who fought for their country are allowed to have flag draped coffins when they die. The tradition of draping the coffin with a flag has been practiced since 1812 and is held to honor the memory of the person who died. Patriotic Americans who may or may not have served in the military or held a government post can opt to have flag draped coffins in their funeral.

Understanding Flag Draped Coffins

One of the highlights in any military funeral is the folding of the flag. It involves a 13-step folding process; and each fold holds some significance to the person who died, as well as to the people who are present in the funeral. Each fold is also a tribute to various entities, which are highlighted below:

  • First fold: Represents life on earth
  • Second fold: Represents Eternal life
  • Third fold: A tribute to war veterans and the others who dedicated a part of their life to defend the country
  • Fourth fold: The people’s weaker nature and trust in God
  • Fifth fold: A tribute to the country
  • Sixth fold: A tribute to where the hearts of the people of the United States lie.
  • Seventh fold: A tribute to the armed forces
  • Eighth fold: A tribute to people who died
  • Ninth fold: A tribute to womanhood and mothers
  • Tenth fold: A tribute to all fathers
  • Eleventh fold: A representation of the lower seal of King Solomon and King David
  • Twelfth fold: A representation of Gold Almighty and an emblem of eternity
  • Thirteenth fold: Stars of the flag point upwards to remind the people of its country’s motto, which is “In God We Trust.”

Guidelines to Follow for Flag Draped Coffins

When using flag draped coffins, there are certain guidelines imposed by the Flag Code (which is written in the United States Federal Code) that must be followed. When the coffin is closed, it is necessary to drape the flag in such a way that the blue star field will cover the head of the coffin and the left shoulder of the deceased. For open coffins, the flag needs to be folded in the shape of a triangle, placed directly on the left shoulder of the deceased with the stars pointing upwards. For half-closed coffins, the flag needs to be folded lengthwise and then draped on top of the coffin with the blue star field pointing upwards. Another thing to keep in mind when using flag draped coffins is that the flag should never be allowed to touch the ground because it is a representation of the country and its people.