As an Army and Navy custom, the flag is lowered daily at the last note of retreat. Special care should be taken that no part of the flag touches the ground. The Flag is then carefully folded into the shape of a tri-cornered hat, emblematic of the hats worn by colonial soldiers during the war for Independence. In the folding, the red and white stripes are finally wrapped into the blue, as the light of day vanishes into the darkness of night.

This custom of special folding is reserved for the United States Flag alone.

How to fold the Flag

Step 1

Fold Flag a

To properly fold the Flag, begin by holding it waist-high with another person so that its surface is parallel to the ground.

Fold Flag thin

Step 2

Fold Flag b

Fold the lower half of the stripe section lengthwise over the field of stars, holding the bottom and top edges securely.

Fold Flag thin

Step 3

Fold Flag c

Fold the flag again lengthwise with the blue field on the outside.

Fold Flag thin

Step 4

Fold Flag d

Make a triangular fold by bringing the striped corner of the folded edge to meet the open (top) edge of the flag.

Fold Flag thin

Step 5

Fold Flag e

Turn the outer (end) point inward, parallel to the open edge, to form a second triangle.

Fold Flag thin

Step 6

Fold Flag f

The triangular folding is continued until the entire length of the flag is folded in this manner.

Fold Flag thin

Step 7

Fold Flag g

When the flag is completely folded, only a triangular blue field of stars should be visible.

Fold Flag thin