Items Left at The Wall

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flag, tri-fold United States national

  • Catalog Number:VIVE 08861
  • Accession Date:3/30/1989
  • Item Summary:Triangularly folded, also referred to as a, "tri-fold", United States national flag. The custom of folding the United States national flag into the shape of a triangle bestows unique honor and respect upon the flag as a symbol. National Flag Foundation (NFF), the Naval Library, The Institute of Heraldry (TIOH), and several other sources have searched for documentation on flag folding, although detailed information regarding its origin remains largely un-established. NFF and Dr. Harold Langley, former curator at the Smithsonian Institution, theorize that the practice probably developed during World War I when patriotism was high and the United States national flag was universally embraced as a national symbol. In 1923, as a consequence of this sustained patriotic fervor and the increased use of the flag, a conference of veterans' organizations and patriotic associations convened in Washington, DC. to create a code of etiquette for the flag. Their intent was to establish traditions ensuring respectful treatment of the flag by all Americans, including the many immigrants entering the country at that time. Furthermore, a well-known ceremony exists for flag folding, often attributed to the U.S. Air Force Academy, in which each of the twelve (12) folds of the triangularly folded flag is assigned a symbolic meaning. NFF presents its own special flag folding ceremony, incorporating several of the virtues attributed to the colors of the flag as specified in 1782 by Charles Thomson (then Secretary of Congress), and recommends that this ceremony be read aloud prior to the actual folding of the flag. The first (1st) fold stands for liberty, the second (2nd) fold represents unity, the third (3rd) fold stands for justice, the fourth (4th) fold symbolizes perseverance, the fifth (5th) fold represents hardiness, the sixth (6th) fold stands for valor, the seventh (7th) fold symbolizes purity, the eighth (8th) fold represents innocence, the ninth (9th) fold signifies sacrifice, the tenth (10th) fold stands for honor, the eleventh (11th) fold symbolizes independence, and the twelfth (12th) fold represents truth. The flag draping a casket at a military funeral is typically folded in this honorary configuration and is presented as a token of respect and gratitude to the family of the deceased on behalf of a grateful nation. The artifact was left at The Wall by an anonymous donor between January - March 1989. (Source: Annin- www.annin.com/resources_flag_folding.asp)

flag, tri-fold United States national

  • Catalog Number:VIVE 08866
  • Accession Date:3/30/1989
  • Item Summary:Triangularly folded, also referred to as a, "tri-fold", United States national flag. The custom of folding the United States national flag into the shape of a triangle bestows unique honor and respect upon the flag as a symbol. National Flag Foundation (NFF), the Naval Library, The Institute of Heraldry (TIOH), and several other sources have searched for documentation on flag folding, although detailed information regarding its origin remains largely un-established. NFF and Dr. Harold Langley, former curator at the Smithsonian Institution, theorize that the practice probably developed during World War I when patriotism was high and the United States national flag was universally embraced as a national symbol. In 1923, as a consequence of this sustained patriotic fervor and the increased use of the flag, a conference of veterans' organizations and patriotic associations convened in Washington, DC. to create a code of etiquette for the flag. Their intent was to establish traditions ensuring respectful treatment of the flag by all Americans, including the many immigrants entering the country at that time. Furthermore, a well-known ceremony exists for flag folding, often attributed to the U.S. Air Force Academy, in which each of the twelve (12) folds of the triangularly folded flag is assigned a symbolic meaning. NFF presents its own special flag folding ceremony, incorporating several of the virtues attributed to the colors of the flag as specified in 1782 by Charles Thomson (then Secretary of Congress), and recommends that this ceremony be read aloud prior to the actual folding of the flag. The first (1st) fold stands for liberty, the second (2nd) fold represents unity, the third (3rd) fold stands for justice, the fourth (4th) fold symbolizes perseverance, the fifth (5th) fold represents hardiness, the sixth (6th) fold stands for valor, the seventh (7th) fold symbolizes purity, the eighth (8th) fold represents innocence, the ninth (9th) fold signifies sacrifice, the tenth (10th) fold stands for honor, the eleventh (11th) fold symbolizes independence, and the twelfth (12th) fold represents truth. The flag draping a casket at a military funeral is typically folded in this honorary configuration and is presented as a token of respect and gratitude to the family of the deceased on behalf of a grateful nation. The artifact was left at The Wall by an anonymous donor between January - March 1989. (Source: Annin- www.annin.com/resources_flag_folding.asp)

flag, tri-fold United States national


  • Catalog Number:VIVE 10900
  • Accession Date:5/24/1989
  • Associated Name(s) on The Wall: JAMES R BAUDER
  • Item Summary:Triangularly folded, also referred to as a, "tri-fold", United States national flag dedicated to U.S. Navy Captain (CAPT) James Reginald Bauder. The custom of folding the United States national flag into the shape of a triangle bestows unique honor and respect upon the flag as a symbol. National Flag Foundation (NFF), the Naval Library, The Institute of Heraldry (TIOH), and several other sources have searched for documentation on flag folding, although detailed information regarding its origin remains largely un-established. NFF and Dr. Harold Langley, former curator at the Smithsonian Institution, theorize that the practice probably developed during World War I when patriotism was high and the United States national flag was universally embraced as a national symbol. In 1923, as a consequence of this sustained patriotic fervor and the increased use of the flag, a conference of veterans' organizations and patriotic associations convened in Washington, DC. to create a code of etiquette for the flag. Their intent was to establish traditions ensuring respectful treatment of the flag by all Americans, including the many immigrants entering the country at that time. Furthermore, a well-known ceremony exists for flag folding, often attributed to the U.S. Air Force Academy, in which each of the twelve (12) folds of the triangularly folded flag is assigned a symbolic meaning. NFF presents its own special flag folding ceremony, incorporating several of the virtues attributed to the colors of the flag as specified in 1782 by Charles Thomson (then Secretary of Congress), and recommends that this ceremony be read aloud prior to the actual folding of the flag. The first (1st) fold stands for liberty, the second (2nd) fold represents unity, the third (3rd) fold stands for justice, the fourth (4th) fold symbolizes perseverance, the fifth (5th) fold represents hardiness, the sixth (6th) fold stands for valor, the seventh (7th) fold symbolizes purity, the eighth (8th) fold represents innocence, the ninth (9th) fold signifies sacrifice, the tenth (10th) fold stands for honor, the eleventh (11th) fold symbolizes independence, and the twelfth (12th) fold represents truth. The flag draping a casket at a military funeral is typically folded in this honorary configuration and is presented as a token of respect and gratitude to the family of the deceased on behalf of a grateful nation. The artifact was left at The Wall along with a handwritten note (VIVE (10897)), a non-military issue, commemorative Vietnam Service Medal patch (VIVE (10898)), and a non-military issue, commemorative POW*MIA patch (VIVE (10899)) by William "Tiny" Bauder on May 18, 1989. (Source: Annin- www.annin.com/resources_flag_folding.asp)
  • Accession Group:VIVE-00058
  • Record Component Qty:1
  • Item Description:TRIANGULARLY FOLDED UNITED STATES NATIONAL FLAG, ALSO REFERRED TO AS AN, ÔÇťAMERICAN" OR A, "TRI-FOLD" FLAG. THE OBJECT IS A TINY TRI-FOLD COMPRISED OF RED, WHITE, AND BLUE POLYESTER-BLEND [?] FABRIC WITH A BLUE CANTON CONTAINING WHITE, FIVE (5)-POINTED STARS, A FIELD OR GROUND BEARING ALTERNATING, HORIZONTAL RED AND WHITE STRIPES, AND A WHITE HOIST EDGE FOR ATTACHMENT TO A FLAGPOLE OR STAFF. THE FLAG IS PRESENTLY FOLDED INTO AN HONORARY TRI-FOLD SHAPE, IN SUCH A MANNER THAT ONLY THE BLUE CANTON, NINETEEN (19) WHITE STARS, AND A SMALL STRIP OF THE RED AND WHITE STRIPED GROUND OR FIELD ARE VISIBLE. THE OBJECT IS ASSOCIATED, AND WAS ORIGINALLY DISCOVERED, WITH VIVE (10897 - 10899).
  • Item Dimensions and Weight:
    • Item Weight: 9.8g
    • Item Length: 6.0cm
    • Item Width: 11.0cm
    • Item Height: N/A
    • Item Depth: 2.0cm (Thickness)
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Items left at The Wall - The Virtual Collection

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated on November 13, 1982. Shortly thereafter, visitors to the Memorial began leaving items in memoriam to those killed and missing service members listed on The Wall. These artifacts now collectively comprise the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Collection -- a museum collection of more than 400,000 items held in the public trust by the National Park Service. Today, this Collection is among the largest and most actively researched collections in the National Capital Region.

The Collection is jointly curated by National Mall and Memorial Parks and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF). The VVMF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that relies upon public donations to continue its work, and receives no federal funding.