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Folding a flag to frame?


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Jun 13, 2002
Fingerlakes Region of NYS
Customer (also a friend) has a flag to be folded and framed with a certificate - She is trying to duplicate one that someone else had done. It appears that the flag is folded to about 20 x 16 and is on top of the mat and the certificate (11 x 8.5") is under the mat..

Any ideas/suggestions regarding this process?


It it's an American flag, I'd bet if you called your local VFW chapter, someone would be more than happy to come fold it properly for you, and probably with a little ceremony to go with it.
When folding a 14th century war pennant, care must be taken to make sure that all small arms such as swords, morning-stars, maces, battle-axes etc are not hiding in the folds. These will cause highly distracting lumps and cause rapid deterioration of the 600 year old cloth. It also makes it dang heavy to hang... use plex to reduce the weight....

Roz, you've been around long enough to deserve that...

Now start over: What kind of flag, what kinds of folds.

A national flag is supposed to be folded one way.
A battle pennenant can be folded into your pocket same as a snot rag... on Wall Street they have special folds so it fits in their suite breast pocket.
Oooo, I can see I have to tread carefully here!!

I was not aware of guidelines (that's why I ask you,the more experienced framers)and thanks for the web pages showing the correct way.

It is, in fact a US flag, flown in Iraq. Someone else had done one and folded it in a rectangular position - obviously not correct, at all!

I will let the customer know this and proceed from there.

Thank you all (you too, Baer) for your help!!

And, I just found out this will be on display in a very public place!!!

Am I glad I inquired before proceeding...

Saving alot of face!

We are now on track for the proper folding of this flag - thanks all!!

Now, how to secure it in place in the frame package? Is it necessary and/or appropriate to stitch in place? Or are other measures better?

My first US flag!! Thanks,

Stitching's the way. At least, that's how I've always done it.
I did one like this. I folded it the correct way first with a triangular opening for the flag and the certificate underneath. The customer didn't like it. So I took it apart and had to fold the flag in a rectangular shape and put on top of the mat like they wanted it. I hated the look but that's what the customer wanted. I had to fold it so that it didn't look odd. To many long stripes in it if you fold it wrong. After folding and refolding I finally got it to look right. I had to sew it shut. It was a nylon flag and wouldn't hold it's shape. Then I attached it to the top of the mat. They were happy with it then. Go figure
Do they not teach that in school these days? Now my age is showing.

We framed one which came from the buriel ceremony and the empty shells were in side the flag and were to remain there in the frame.
Learned to fold them in school?

Only if you were a patrol boy or girl when I was in school.

I was a patrol girl, yes, I really was, but that was a long time ago and I couldn't remember how it was supposed to be folded when I had to do it for a customer.

Thank goodness for the internet!

I nearly jumped for joy the last time someone brought a real flag in to work with instead of one of those slippery little nylon suckers!
ps; for all you civilians!~ If it is a burial flag it is never to be unfolded!~ It symbolizes the closer of a warrior!~ RIP

No they don't teach it in school!~ Half the people in the US don't know to stand when the colors are paraded past them! 20% prouder of their heritage flag than the stars & stripes!~ The rest are govt employees ,teachers, military & the few that were taught about it!~ ~

If you don't know find out!~ If you do pass it on to the kids!~ It all starts with them!~

Roz at least you asked!~ God bless you!~
Anytime the colors passed by in a parade, or anywhere, my Dad would jump up and stand at attention and put his hand over his heart. People would look at him like he was crazy, then they'd get up and follow suite. If you looked real close, you'd see a hint of a wet eye. He was one proud American, and he passed that on to us. We didn't learn it in school either, but from him.

I found a huge cotton one recently in a thrift store, wadded up and thrown in with the sheets and blankets section. I was furious! Paid $2 for it, and it's folded up with dignity at home now. We'll donate it somewhere where it will be properly displayed and respected. It's too big for our home use.
Several years ago, I was over a friend's house who lived about half a block away from an elementary school. We took a walk over with her son to the playground and as we got there, I was surprised to see all these little (9"x12") flags all over on the ground. We immediately went and picked up all the flags we could find, there must have been about 30 or 40!

I don't know what was going on that all those flags were like that, but don't people know that the flag is not supposed to touch the ground?
Girl Scouts ( and I'm sure Boy Scouts) teach it too. I learned at camp.

The triangular fold thing is also very useful in cooking - spanikopita and samosas.

I framed a flag that my brother sent me from Afganastan with a certificate. It is in a 14 X 18 black shadowbox. The flag is folded in the upper left hand corner sewn tow the back mat. the back mat is alternating stripes of white and red linen mat. The certificate is mounted on AF Foamcore with a 1" navy linen mat around it and is floated on the back mat. Sorry I am at home so I don't have the mat numbers with me. I tried to post a link to an image but am not sure how it will work.
Nice job, Jini, I like the stripes!
Very creative, jini! I like the mounting of the flag (properly folded BTW with 2 stars showing above 4 stars)in the red/white background, showing the field of blue and stars where they would appear on an actual flag. That is nice work.

Thanks for sharing.

Jini, nice frame package!! Very Patriotic!!

New twist on this project (that I probably just lost) because the person who is getting this is a bean counter at her place and found this online:


And for $156.95 thinks that is a better deal than the $200 I will charge... And this is being displayed in one of the nicer Country Clubs in our area - Oak Hill CC - where the US Open has been held, will be held and the Ryder Cup was...

Who can figure!!?? I am crossing my fingers that he does the "right thing"!! Quality. Buy Local. Help the local economy.

WOW Roz... but for $200 can you provide them with all that wonderfull upscale benifits like:

Weighted side mats [makes your bottom look small :D ]

High Tanin Unlined Ash frame to scrunch your flag into so your Red-White&Blue become Brown-Tan&Black.

And I'm sure they are providing the highest level of out-sourced labor....
Yes, Rebecca, the scouting programs do teach the proper handling of the flag, etiquette and ceremony.

My son's Boy Scout troop also collects flags about once a year that need to be retired. They officially "retire" these flags with a ceremony,( they learn ceremony well in scouting) , and properly dispose of these well worn, weather-beaten old flags. (don't ask me what that is- I just help collect the flags and turn 'em in.)

We participate in decorating the graves at the Marietta Nat'l. Cemetery on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. Imagine swarms of scouts, boy and girl, working feverishly to decorate each grave marker with a small flag. There are over 10,000 to be done, and it takes them maybe two hours. Last year I overheard a tiny Girl Scout scolding a Boy Scout probably twice her size for putting his extra flags on the ground while he was working. Too funny.

So, yes, some kids are getting that same education. And, yes I learned how to fold the flag as a kid but had to be reminded when we started doing scouts.

And, yes, those that know will not hesitate to tell you if it is framed or folded wrong.

I got it!! Yippee! WhooHoo! What a nice turn of events!!

And, I just folded my first flag ever!

This is a small nylon flag so the size when folded is 14" across the bottom edge and 7" from tip of triangle formed to bottom edge.

I still need to see how much stitching or other form of securing the flag is needed to hold it in place on top of the mat board...

Any suggestions welcome!!