Folded flags

BAMAAKBAMAAK Senior MemberPosts: 4,141 Senior Member
Many know that when a veteran passes and has an honor guard, the next of kin is presented with a folded flag with 3 spent cartridges inserted after folding.  I had the privilege of serving on the base honor guard for a year.  Started out carrying the casket and moved to firing the volleys.  At the time, at 19 or 20, I had no clue why those cartridges were inserted.  Not until I was at the receiving end when my wife passed did it dawn on me to look it up.  

The 3 volleys comes from the 1600S when three volleys signaled a pause in fighting so the dead could be collected.  The next volley signaled fight on.  So the three cartridges and three volleys come from that time to honor the dead.  They cartridges also symbolize Duty, Honor, Country.

Happy 4th and lets always remember those who have fallen.
"He only earns his freedom and his life Who takes them every day by storm."

-- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer and politician

Replies

  • Wambli SkaWambli Ska Moderator Posts: 26,254 Senior Member
    Never knew that, thanks.  I had my dads flag given to me by the honor guard since I'm the oldest and my mom passed when I was very young.  It's folded in a nice wood/glass case over my gun cabinet with a copy of his NAVY records.
    "Attack rapidly, ruthlessly, viciously, without rest, however tired and hungry you may be, the enemy will be more tired, more hungry. Keep punching." General George S. Patton
  • BAMAAKBAMAAK Senior Member Posts: 4,141 Senior Member
    I tell you what, on a windy day standing on 2x4s at the gravesite it not easy to get that flag folded right.  We had some red showing once and the NCOIC tucked in on his inspection.  Then after the services and a good dressing down, we had to redo it.
    "He only earns his freedom and his life Who takes them every day by storm."

    -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer and politician
  • coolgunguycoolgunguy Senior Member Posts: 5,835 Senior Member
    BAMAAK said:
    I tell you what, on a windy day standing on 2x4s at the gravesite it not easy to get that flag folded right.  We had some red showing once and the NCOIC tucked in on his inspection.  Then after the services and a good dressing down, we had to redo it.
    At my stepfather's service, the color guard screwed up the folding and unfolded/refolded right there, during the service. The fella (sorry, unsure of rank... mists of time and all) in charge was clearly perturbed and seemed pretty ashamed afterwords.  I went over and thanked him and he apologized for booting the folding.  I told him it was no big deal and that I was awed by the ceremony.  His reply, (not a quote) "This is what we do."  which, of course, covers several meanings.

    This past week we buried my uncle Skip, who served in the navy.  His color guard was completely different.  He opted for cremation, so the flag was already folded, but the two officers present opened the flag and spread it for display during the salute, then refolded it.  The solemnity of these services is always very touching.  
    "Bipartisan" usually means that a bigger than normal deception is happening.
    George Carlin
  • ilove22silove22s Senior Member Posts: 1,040 Senior Member
    cool.

    i knew about the flag but wasnt aware of the cartridges.   

    just learned something today.  thanks.
    The ears never lie.

    - Don Burt
  • BAMAAKBAMAAK Senior Member Posts: 4,141 Senior Member
    When we did it, the person who presented the flag always had the cartridges tucked into one of his white gloves and kind of snuck them in the flag before he turned around.
    "He only earns his freedom and his life Who takes them every day by storm."

    -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer and politician
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,031 Senior Member
    BAMAAK said:
    I tell you what, on a windy day standing on 2x4s at the gravesite it not easy to get that flag folded right.  We had some red showing once and the NCOIC tucked in on his inspection.  Then after the services and a good dressing down, we had to redo it.
    At my stepfather's service, the color guard screwed up the folding and unfolded/refolded right there, during the service. The fella (sorry, unsure of rank... mists of time and all) in charge was clearly perturbed and seemed pretty ashamed afterwords.  I went over and thanked him and he apologized for booting the folding.  I told him it was no big deal and that I was awed by the ceremony.  His reply, (not a quote) "This is what we do."  which, of course, covers several meanings.

    This past week we buried my uncle Skip, who served in the navy.  His color guard was completely different.  He opted for cremation, so the flag was already folded, but the two officers present opened the flag and spread it for display during the salute, then refolded it.  The solemnity of these services is always very touching.  
    The Marines did that with the flag at a funeral I went to on Tues.
    I have a need for speed
  • KMT2KMT2 Member Posts: 120 Member
    At TJSVET ceremony over a year ago, the casings were never placed in the flag. But his favorite Niece asked me to seif she col get a casing. Which I was able to. I never knew the reason of the 3 rifle shot volly. interesting factoid. 
    If you think OHSA is a little town in Wisconsin you may be in trouble!
    Peace is firing my guns or 60 feet below the surface of the water.
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