How many stars should be showing on a properly folded and displayed flag for a veteran of the United States military?

There is no official regulation on the number of stars that are showing on a properly folded US Military Honor Flag. The only requirement is that it be folded a ceremoniously 13 times and that there be no red or white showing. The following is an exert the US Air Force Flag Detail Manual.

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Flag Folding

As a military custom, the flag is lowered daily at the last note of retreat. Special care should be taken that no part of the flag touches the ground. The Flag is then carefully folded into the shape of a tri-cornered hat, emblematic of the hats worn by colonial soldiers during the war for Independence. In the folding, the red and white stripes are finally wrapped into the blue, as the light of day vanishes into the darkness of night.

This custom of special folding is reserved for the United States Flag alone.

How to fold the Flag

Step 1

To properly fold the Flag, begin by holding it waist-high with another person so that its surface is parallel to the ground.

Step 2

Fold the lower half of the stripe section lengthwise over the field of stars, holding the bottom and top edges securely.

Step 3

Fold the flag again lengthwise with the blue field on the outside.

Step 4

Make a triangular fold by bringing the striped corner of the folded edge to meet the open (top) edge of the flag.

Step 5

Turn the outer (end) point inward, parallel to the open edge, to form a second triangle.

Step 6

The triangular folding is continued until the entire length of the flag is folded in this manner.

Step 7

When the flag is completely folded, only a triangular blue field of stars should be visible.

Flag Folding Ceremony


| The Flag Folding Ceremony above is from the US Air Force Academy |

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