Flag ceremony update

July 29, 2006

Navy caption: SAN DIEGO (April 2, 2007) - Aviation Support Equipment Technician 3rd Class Danny Ly, Storekeeper Seaman Joe Jackson and Electronics Technician Timothy Swartz fold the American flag on the flight deck aboard nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68). Nimitz Carrier Strike Group (CSG), embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11 and Destroyer Squadron Group (DESRON) 23 are deploying to support operations in U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jeremiah Sholtis (RELEASED) - Wikimedia image

Navy caption: SAN DIEGO (April 2, 2007) – Aviation Support Equipment Technician 3rd Class Danny Ly, Storekeeper Seaman Joe Jackson and Electronics Technician Timothy Swartz fold the American flag on the flight deck aboard nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68). Nimitz Carrier Strike Group (CSG), embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11 and Destroyer Squadron Group (DESRON) 23 are deploying to support operations in U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jeremiah Sholtis (RELEASED) – Wikimedia image

Earlier I wrote about a flag-folding ceremony that is making the internet rounds. I noted that much of the claimed mythology is, um, ahistoric.

There is no particular meaning attached to folding the flag. Comments noted that the ceremony making the internet rounds is posted at the website of the American Legion. I wrote to the Legion’s public relations department, but have heard nothing back. Generally, the information on flag etiquette at that site is solid. Only the flag-folding ceremony material is not top-notch. I would be happy were the Legion to add a note that the ceremony is a sample ceremony. Several sites mention that the ceremony comes “from the U.S. Air Force Academy.” One site even had a link, but the link was dead. I did find a few sources that explained further. The Air Force Academy web site may have featured a flag-folding ceremony at one point, perhaps even the one being passed around. One of the more popular ceremonies featured had been written by one of the chaplains at USAFA. As happens in the military, someone got concerned about the accuracy of the claims, and the ceremony was pulled. However, Air Force color guards had used the ceremony, and there was demand for something to say during the folding of the U.S. flag, at some ceremonies.

Below the fold, at some length, I reprint the “official” story.

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