Flag Folding Ceremony
Air Force Script
For more than 200 years, the American flag has been the symbol of our nation’s
unity, as well as a source of pride and inspiration for millions of citizens.
Born on June 14, 1777, the Second Continental Congress determined that the flag
of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternating between seven red and six
white; and that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field representing
a new constellation. (1)
Between 1777 and 1960, the shape and design of the flag evolved into the flag
presented before you today. The 13 horizontal stripes represent the original 13
colonies, while the stars represent the 50 states of the Union. The colors of
the flag are symbolic as well; red symbolizes hardiness and valor; white
signifies purity and innocence; and blue represents vigilance, perseverance and
Traditionally, a symbol of liberty, the American flag has carried the message of
freedom, and inspired Americans, both at home and abroad.
In 1814, Francis Scott Key was so moved at seeing the Stars and Stripes waving
after the British shelling of Baltimore’s Fort McHenry that he wrote the words
to The Star Spangled Banner. (3)
In 1892 the flag inspired Francis Bellamy to write the “Pledge of Allegiance,”
our most famous flag salute and patriotic oath. (3)
In July 1969 the American flag was “flown” in space when Neil Armstrong planted
it on the surface of the moon. (3)
Today, our flag flies on constellations of Air Force satellites that circle our
globe, and on the fin flash of our aircraft in harms way in every corner of the
world. Indeed, it flies in the heart of every Airman who serves our great
Nation. The sun never sets on our US Air Force, nor on the flag we so proudly
Since 1776 no generation of Americans has been spared the responsibility of
defending freedom… Today’s Airmen remain committed to preserving the freedom
that others won for us, for generations to come.
By displaying the flag, and giving it a distinctive fold we show respect to the
flag, and express our gratitude to those individuals who fought, and continue to
fight for freedom, at home and abroad. Since the dawn of the 20th century,
Airmen have proudly flown the flag in every major conflict on lands and skies
around the world. It is their responsibility…our responsibility…to continue to
protect and preserve the rights, privileges and freedoms that we, as Americans,
The United States flag represents who we are. It stands for the freedom we
all share and the pride and patriotism we feel for our country. We cherish
its legacy, as a beacon of hope to one and all. Long may it wave.
(1) From a report Secretary of Congress Robert Thompson wrote to define the Seal
of our Nation (1777).
(2) Text from President Woodrow Wilson’s Flag Day message (1917).
(3) Based upon historical facts