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Ever wonder why our flag is folded into a triangle?


There is a longstanding custom of bestowing honor and respect on the National Flag by folding it into a triangle shape. The origin of flag folding remains unclear, with some historians asserting the tradition dates back to the Continental Army where troops first began to fold the flag in the shape of the tricorn hat. Today’s service members lend each fold of the flag it’s own special significance.

1st Fold – To honor the recruiter who lied to you in order to make his mission that month.

2d Fold – Represents both your arms embracing the suck.

3d Fold – Honors the three branches of government, whose lousy foreign policy you will implement.

4th Fold – Represents the four real armed services. Screw you Coasties! How’s that Homeland Security gig working out for ya?

5th Fold – The Fifth Amendment, which your general officers will plead during every inquiry into their misconduct, sexual, ethical, or otherwise.

6th Fold – The Class Six store, the only friend who will ever understand you.

7th Fold – The number of failed marriages you’re likely to endure during a career punctuated by poor decisions and dating strippers.

8th Fold – Representing the number of ibuprofen it will take on any given morning.

9th Fold – A tribute to Sergeants Major and other E-9s, those miserable bastards.

10th Fold – The number of field exercises you’ll endure before discovering your spouse is banging the bag boy from the commissary.

11th Fold – Honoring the Eleventh Hour, when you will be directed to utterly change everything about the operation you’ve been planning for the last six months.

12th Fold – Represents the 12 MREs that come in each box. It’s all you’re going to be eating after that whore takes everything in the custody battle.

In the final folding the red and white will be wrapped in the blue, the darkness of night. This represents the time when you will be woken up by a phone call because that one jackass will have fled the scene of a car accident because he was drinking and driving again.

The triangular shape represents the wheel chock firmly wedged under the vehicle that is your career, preventing it from ever progressing.

Duffel Blog staffer Jay contributed reporting.

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  1. Ah, yes. I remember AMC, waiting in a strange airport for a ride, knowing that it was an acronym for “Airplane Might Come” (“Someday” was unvoiced.) A stunning rearrangement of the letters of MAC, which meant the same thing.

  2. Thank you DuffleBlog for this humorous take on the tradition. I truly enjoy the satire and comedy from your site, and share it as often as I can – if only to see how many on my Facebook take it as serious “news”. Keep up the great work!

  3. Regarding the fourth fold, far too often, when the other services mention my beloved Coast Guard, their envy comes across as hostilitiy. Just know that us Coastes understand that you’re in pain,knowing that you could have had the same pay and benefits if you had joined the Coast Guard.

    When we see such hostilitiy, we know. We understand that you’re in pain. .

    Bless your hearts.

    • Dude, people envy the Air Force (coming from a former Army guy, myself). Everyone mocks openly at the Coast Guard. I’ve never met anyone who envied them.

      • As an Air Force veteran, I concur with your assessment. Though I must add that most of the “envy” is cloaked in well meaning mockery and jabs. I proudly embrace the terms ‘chAir’ Force, Air Farce, and others, as the vast majority of the jibes are lobbed from love. In turn, I have a deep and abiding love for my fellow Jarheads and Grunts…it takes us all to get the job done. Some of us simply need chairs…

        • All-too-often those Army-types forget it’s we of the USAF AMC who gets them where they need to be to do THEIR job. 🙂

          • The Air Force was also pretty good at delivering iron to target, removing some extremely annoying and people from our area.
            Well, maybe not removed, shredded would be more accurate.

    • Very few people are even aware that virtually all the LCVP coxswains during the D-Day invasion were ‘Coasties’ called to Active Duty with the Navy.

      Semper Paratus

    • Well, you know that you’ve swam a bit far ashore when the Coast Guard pulls up next to you and advises, “Sir, you’re kind of far from shore”.
      That happened to me twice. Honestly, I just lost track of my drift, while treading water and chilling.

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