Ever wonder why our flag is folded into a triangle?

Air National Guardsmen from the 113th Wing, D.C. Air National Guard, fold an American flags at the Air Force Memorial in Arlington, Va., April 11, 2014. A group of approximately 40 service members volunteered to fold flags. In four hours they folded approximately 430 American flags. (left to right) Senior Airman Amanda Feyen, Tech. Sgt. Antonio Lanzo, Airman First Class Cayla Clark, Airman Basic Lindsy Mason, Staff Sgt. Jenna Geronimo and Senior Master Sgt. Susan Clark. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by 1st Lt. Nathan T. Wallin/Released)

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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