From the collection of the National Park Service, National Mall and Memorial Parks.
flag, tri-fold United States national
Triangularly folded, also referred to as a, "tri-fold", United States national flag and handwritten note dedicated to U.S. Navy Seaman (SN) John Stanley Duplaga. 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. A handwritten note housed with the flag indicates that the artifact was left at The Wall by the cousins of SN Duplaga, "David, Leslie, Th. W.[?], & Rosemary" between July - August 1989. (Source: Annin- www.annin.com/resources_flag_folding.asp)
TRIANGULARLY FOLDED UNITED STATES NATIONAL FLAG, ALSO REFERRED TO AS AN, "AMERICAN" OR A, "TRI-FOLD" FLAG, DEDICATED TO U.S. NAVY SEAMAN (SN) JOHN STANLEY DUPLAGA. THE OBJECT IS 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, THIRTEEN (13) WHITE STARS, AND A VERY SMALL AREA OF THE RED AND WHITE STRIPED FIELD OR GROUND ARE VISIBLE. THE FLAG IS TIGHTLY FOLDED, AND IS PRESENTLY HOUSED INSIDE A CLEAR, POLY-PLASTIC BAG SECURED WITH STRIPS OF CLEAR, ADHESIVE PACKING TAPE. AT THE OBVERSE OBJECT SURFACE OF THE FLAG, HOUSED BETWEEN THE OBVERSE FLAG SURFACE AND THE INTERIOR SURFACE OF THE POLY-PLASTIC BAG, IS A HANDWRITTEN INSCRIPTION IN BLACK INK AND CURSIVE SCRIPT/ARABIC NUMERALS UPON A THREE (3)" X FIVE (5)", WHITE, LINED PAPER NOTECARD. THE INSCRIPTION DEDICATES THE TRI-FOLD FLAG TO, "JOHN S. DUPLAGA", IS DATED, "1989", SPECIFIES SN DUPLAGA'S KIA DATE, "JULY 29, 1967", AND IS FROM, "YOUR COUSINS [...]".
Text of the handwritten inscription upon the notecard at the obverse object surface is transcribed in full, as follows: "John S. Duplaga / July 29, 1967 / Your Cousins: David, Leslie, Th. W.[?], & Rosemary / 1989"
Item Weight: 188.8g
Item Length: 17.0cm
Item Width: 34.0cm
Item Depth: 3.5cm (Thickness)