May 31, 2010

Thirteen Folds to Freedom

As the morning sun announces the breaking of another day filled with new Mercies, America pauses to celebrate Memorial Day.  Sadly, to many citizens of this great land, it's just another three day weekend filled with family festivities, firing up the barbecue and celebration of an extra day off work. And yes, I also will enjoy a hot dog, apple pie and watermelon today but this morning my heart is deeply stirring and saddened for the condition of my nation.

As I ponder Memorial Day, my thoughts are drawn to a different time and place.......a time when America was hailed and respected as a shining beacon......America was revered.....America was esteemed.......and those who proudly wore an American armed forces uniform and valiantly fought and died for our freedoms were highly honored and celebrated.  A time when every town, city and municipality and classroom large or small passionately celebrated the greatness of our blessed nation and wavered not from the principals and standards from which she was birthed.

My memories continue to drift to a Georgia elementary classroom where the Holy Bible lay on my teachers desk and Old Glory stood along side. Daily allegiance to the stars and stripes was proudly pledged and the time honored and proven declarations of "One Nation Under God", "In God We Trust " and patriotic heartfelt choruses such as "God Bless America" and "My Country 'tis of Thee" flowed freely and often from our lips.  Oh, how far we've drifted away from our foundation......a foundation forged by the Hand and Grace of God.  Forgive us, oh God......we've forfeited Your foundation for the shifting sands of man-pleasing, political correctness and acceptance of other gods!

On this Memorial Day, I choose to honor the One who birthed this great nation and be ever mindful of those who served and those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for my freedoms!  The beautiful fabric of America was and continues to be woven with the blood stained threads of those in uniform who loyally served and gave their all to protect and defend our God Given rights.  May the significance of their sacrifice never be diminished or forgotten!

My first memories of witnessing a flag draped casket were those of fallen warriors returning for burial from Viet Nam.  Images still pass through my thoughts of air plane hangers lined with dozens of flag draped caskets awaiting transport to their families.......I will never forget that image.  I was ignorant at that time of the true significance of the U.S. Flag-Folding Ceremony that is performed at the conclusion of the burial of those who have honorably served in uniform.  My heart was deeply touched once I learned the true meaning of each of the thirteen folds and share it with you below.  Whether you're reading about it here for the first time or have read it before, I believe the Flag-Folding Ceremony will bless you and impress upon your heart the importance of sincerely remembering Memorial Day..... because the freedoms you and I enjoy were and always will be very costly......they are not free!..........

The U.S. Flag-Folding Ceremony

The first fold of our flag is a symbol of life.

The second fold is a symbol of our belief in the eternal life.

The third fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veteran departing our ranks 
who gave a portion of life for the defense of our country to attain a peace through the world.

The fourth fold represents our weaker nature;
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.

The fifth fold is a tribute to our country,
for in the words of Stephen Decatur,
"Our country, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right,
but it is still our country, right or wrong."

The sixth fold is for where our hearts lie.
It is with our heart that we pledge allegiance to the flag
of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, 
one nation under God, with liberty and justice for all.

The seventh fold is a tribute to our armed forces, for it is through
the armed forces that we protect our country and our flag
against all enemies,
whether they be found within or without the boundaries of our republic.

The eighth fold is a tribute to the one who entered into the 
valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day, 
and to honor our mother, for whom it flies on Mother's day.

The ninth fold is a tribute to womanhood, for it has been through 
their faith, love and loyalty and devotion that the character
of the men and women who
have made this country great have been molded.

The tenth fold is a tribute to father, for he, too,
has given his sons and daughters
for the defense of our country since they were first born.

The eleventh fold, in the eyes of Hebrew citizens,
represents the lower portion
of the seal of King David and King Solomon and glorifies, in their eyes,
 the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 

The twelfth fold, in the eyes of a Christian citizen, represents and emblem
of eternity and glorifies, in their eyes,
God the Father, the Son and Holy Ghost.

The thirteenth fold, the flag is completely folded,
the stars are uppermost, reminding us of our national motto,

My prayer for my nation......

Father, my heart cries for an mighty outpouring of your Spirit upon this nation.  Forgive us, oh Lord, for our lethargy and indifference to You and Your immeasurable Mercies and Grace so lavishly bestowed by your hand. You and You alone are the One True and Living God and have so graciously and faithfully heaped blessings upon blessings upon us!  Your Hand has established us, blessed us, prospered, guided, protected and defended the United States of America!  May our hearts burn for You and Your ways.  I pray that American hearts turn from all other gods, distractions and the spirits of this age that have so subtly enticed, deceived and drawn us away from the God of our founding fathers.   Forgive us, extend your Mercy to us and help us Lord!  Heal, cleanse and restore our land as we turn from our wicked ways and cry out to You!  From the White House to every house may a deep insatiable hunger and thirst for Righteousness break forth!.......From border to border and sea to shining sea may we behold your Glory upon the United States of America, Oh God!
In the Mighty Name of Jesus I pray!  Amen!!

God Bless America!
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Anonymous said...

This is an amazing post! I had never heard of what the folds on the flag meant before. Thanks for taking the time to share it. :)


Sandy said...

Thanks for reminding me of the
meaning of the folds of our
flag. Wonderfully poignant.
I, too, remember the Holy Bible
on the desk of teachers in our
classrooms. I remember saying
morning prayers and reciting
the pledge of allegiance to the
I join you in prayer for our
great nation. God bless America!

Cathy said...

Amen and Amen!

Pat said...

I don't know what to heart grieves for our nation as well. We have drifted so far from our moorings. Beautiful, heartfelt post.

I am united with you in prayer for our nation.

Karen said...

Awesome post, Jackie!

How well I remember the time in school where the symbols of our country's freedom, and our souls' freedom were prominently displayed...

The 13 fold meanings were new to me, and my heart swelled with each section I read...

Your closing prayer was beautifully worded and I join you in lifting these up....

Linda said...

Hi Jackie,
Enjoyed your post! Beautiful and so heartfelt!
I will be praying,

Sonja said...

Absolutely a beautiful way to end this so very special weekend... remembering. And just as our freedom in this land did not come without a price, it takes us right to the greatest freedom of all which came at the greatest price!!

Love you Jackie,


J+M+S said...

Beautiful...just beautiful! Thank grandpa has thirteen fold for him!

Pam said...

Many Blessings to you

Mindy said...

Could not have said this better!!! Well done! I am in agreement with you in the prayer for our Nation! My Husband served 20 years in the Marine there will ALWAYS be a very special place in my heart for our military!!
God bless you richly!!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I have never read this; thank you for sharing the significance of the 13 folds. It means more to me now to understand the significance behind each fold.

So thankful for the freedom we know in this country and in our hearts this day!


Just Be Real said...

Wow, thank you for sharing what the each fold means. I knew they had some significance. Blessings.

DORCAS said...

I never knew this. Thanks so much for sharing.



Sassy Granny ... said...

First, I love the flower header on your blog!

Also, it does my heart good to read & hear about our rich heritage. God blessed America at one time; may we be worthy for Him to continue doing so.


Barbara said...

Wow who said you are too old to learn?? NOT I certainly learned some new meanings today, thank you my blessed sister, indeed we all need Fresh Oil, I have a wonderful tape by Dr. Jack Hyles on that, oh me it was good, and this is so important to make others aware of the holy meaning our Country was started on, again thanks, and yep from one Georgia peace to another , y'all have a great day.
Hugs Barbara

LeeAnn@Encouragement Is Contagious said...

Hi Jackie! I just love your new header and blog look. It is so fresh and says "Glad ya all stopped by for a little chat".

I was gone over Memorial Day weekend visiting family and didn't post during that time, but I so appreciate and agree with all you've said here. Thank you for sharing your heart here.

Lee Ann

Oh and if you have time tomorrow please stop by because I am having my very first GIVEAWAY. Thanks!

Deborah Ann said...

Amen to that prayer! You're so right, our focus is on food and other things.

We missed the parade this year, but it always brings me to tears when the vets march by. God has been so gracious and long-suffering with us. I pray our nation will acknowledge His blessings before it's too late.

Celebrating too, Aaron is back on base, safe and sound...

Lynda Young said...

Thanks for that really informative post. I never knew the meaning of the folds before.

Mary Moss said...

Wow! Wonderful post. Thanks you so much for sharing this information and for the incredible prayer for our country.



What a beautiful tribute to our country, our heroes, and most of all to God. I needed the reminder of the flag folding, thanks for that too. You have a really really nice blog. God bless you.

myletterstoemily said...

thank you for the super
encouraging message of

i loved the explanation of
the folds. never read that

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