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|At left, Joshua Netwig is joined by Trade Instructor Louis Sarrat.|
|Boys Home, VFW Post 1033 Hold Flag Retirement Ceremony|
Covington, VA (Nov. 11, 2023) - An old, tattered flag, is retired respectfully by burning and burying its ashes.
Curtis A Smith VFW Post 1033, presented flag etiquette and the retiring of the flag after it can no longer be flown on Veterans Day, November 11th on the campus of Boys Home.
The ceremony began with Commander Shawn Wright reading the proper way to fold the flag and the meaning of each fold while comrades Dale Comer and Matt Tate demonstrated. The American flag is a symbol of freedom in our country.
When the flag is being lowered care must be taken to ensure that it does not touch the ground. The flag is then carefully folded into the shape of a tri-cornered hat, the hats worn by colonial soldiers during the war for independence. The red and white stripes are finally wrapped into the blue. This custom of folding is reserved for the United States flag only.
The flag has 13 folds:
The first fold of the flag is a symbol of life.
The second fold is a symbol of the belief in eternal life.
The third fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veterans departing the ranks who gave a portion of their lives for the defense of the country to attain peace throughout the world.
The fourth fold represents the weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in time of war for HIS divine guidance.
The fifth fold is a tribute to the country, for in the words of Stephen Decatur, â€śOur Country, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right; but is still our country, right or wrong.
The sixth fold is for where peopleâ€™s hearts lie. It is with their heart that they pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
The seventh fold is a tribute to the Armed Forces â€“ Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard â€“ for it is through the Armed Forces that they protect their country and their flag against all her enemies, whether they be found within or without the boundaries of their republic.
The eighth fold is a tribute to the one who entered the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day.
The ninth fold is a tribute to womanhood and mothers, for it has been through their faith, their love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this county great has been molded.
The tenth fold is a tribute to the father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense of their country since they were first born.
The eleventh fold represents the lower portion of the seal of King Solomon and glorifies in the Hebrewsâ€™ eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
The twelfth fold represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in the Christians eyes, God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
The thirteenth fold, or when the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost, reminding them of their nationâ€™s motto, â€śIn God We Trustâ€ť.
Our flag does not fly with the wind, it flies with the last breath of each soldier who died protecting it.
The boys at Boys Home participated in the burning of the flags and each received a star that had been removed from a flag before its retirement. The ceremony ended with the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag.
There is so much that can be said about â€śOld Gloryâ€ť. It goes by many nicknames â€“ â€śthe Stars and Stripesâ€ť after its distinguished appearance or â€śthe Star-Spangled Bannerâ€ť as an ode to the national anthem. Whatever you call it, the flag is a symbol of the freedom all Americans enjoy today because of all the veterans who fought and protected our countryâ€¦The United States of America.
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