We’ve seen those four words a million times as we handle coins…In God We Trust. We see them on currency so often we may have even become unaware of their presence or their meaning in regard to these great United States of America. Since a surprise lesson on patriotism Tuesday morning, I see those words with new eyes.
The day began like any other, nearly 20 teachers and staff lined up across the basketball court facing 270 some St. Mary’s students ready to say Morning Prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance, but on Tuesday we were joined by some very special guests. There were three VFW members and one member of the Ladies Auxiliary among us. These honored guests had come to do a lesson on the Pledge and the proper way to handle the American flag. As I listened to them passionately explain the meaning of our Nations Pledge I was touched by their love for the country they had been called into war to defend. I always tell my little lovelies that we’re never too old to learn new things and Tuesday morning was proof of that statement. I want to share what I learned about folding the flag because its symbolism is as rich in patriotism as it is in Faith. Perhaps you are a much wiser American than I am and all of my new knowledge will be old stuff to you, but just in case you didn’t know that the flag is folded 13 times for 13 different reasons, maybe you’d like to read on a little bit farther. Here is what those 13 folds symbolize.
First fold) A symbol of life Fold2) A symbol of our belief in eternal life Fold 3) Made in honor and remembrance of the veterans departing our ranks who gave a portion of their lives for the defense of our county to attain peace throughout the world Fold 4) Represents our weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in times of war, for His Divine guidance Fold 5) A tribute to our country for in the words of Stephen Decaur, “Our country, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right, but it is still our Country right or wrong” Fold 6) For where our hearts lie; where we place our hand when we say the pledge Fold 7) A tribute to all Armed Forces, for it is through them that we protect our country and our flag against all her enemies, whether they be found within or beyond the borders of our republic Fold 8) A Tribute to the one who entered into the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day Fold 9) A tribute to womanhood and Mothers. For it has been through their faith, their love, their loyalty and their devotion that the character of the men and women, who have made this country great, has been molded Fold 10) A tribute to Fathers, for they too have given Sons and Daughters for the defense of our country Fold 11) Represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon and glorifies in the Hebrews eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob Fold12) Represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies in the Christians eyes, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit Fold 13) When the flag is completely folded, the stars are in the uppermost, reminding us of our nations motto, In God We Trust.
How is that for a pretty tight connection between the Creator and the Nation He created? The roots of this country are not connected to Washington DC or the elected officials who have an office there. The foundation of these United States lies with the God who is responsible for our very being. If you ever really want to solve a problem…and I mean REALLY SOLVE a problem, you have to trace back to the root. If we want to solve the problems our nation is facing…lets go back to the root and drop to our knees in prayer. I’ve heard plenty of grumbling about congress, the President and government in general but I have a question…when is the last time we have prayed for them and put into action those words from our Nations motto…In God We Trust?
A Seed To Plant:
Stop and gaze at a flag today and re-read the symbols for the 13 folds.
While you’re at it, recognize the flag as an invitation to prayer for this great nation and those who defend and govern it. For extra credit, fold a flag with someone and teach them what you’ve learned.
Blessings on your day!