Boatyard Lowers Flag on Veterans Day

Flag lowering

In Observance of Veterans Day, Gig Harbor Marina & Boatyard Lowers Old Glory

Each third Saturday in May, on Armed Forces Day, Gig Harbor Marina & Boatyard proudly raises its huge flag in downtown Gig Harbor. Old Glory flies at the end of the iconic boat service shed all summer and into fall, until it is lowered on Veterans Day.

This year the honors were done by Yard Manager Jeff Broders, a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, and long-time Yard Supervisor/Travelift Operator Mark Rybin. As the three of us headed out back where the flag is attached to the building with the nautical running rigging of a sailboat, Jeff ducked inside the office.

flag lowering

Mark Rybin, up on the building, loosens rigging so the flag can be lowered for the season at Gig Harbor Marina & Boatyard. Yard Manager and Marine Veteran Jeff Broders carefully gathers the flag.

He came right back out and handed me a printout from the Internet. It was the explanation of the significance of each fold of the U.S. flag by the American Legion Auxiliary. Now, as a mom of an Eagle Scout I attended years of Boy Scout meetings, courts of honor and numerous other Scouting events that always opened and closed with color guard ceremonies. I had never heard that each fold of the flag into its neat triangle held a significant meaning.

Thank you, former Marine Gunnery Sergeant Jeffrey Broders for sharing this information as we honored our veterans this week.

The symbolism of the 13 folds of the U.S. Flag

From the American Legion Auxiliary Blog, June 16, 2017:

If you’ve attended a funeral honoring a veteran who served our country, perhaps you witnessed the folding of the flag that once covered the casket of a loved one. Each of the 13 folds of the flag holds great significance.

flag loweringflag lowered

Above: Broders, left, and Rybin fold the flag.

At the ceremony of retreat, a daily observance at bases during which all personnel pay respect to the flag, “the flag is lowered, folded in a triangle fold and kept under watch throughout the night as a tribute to our nation’s honored dead. The next morning, it is brought out and, at the ceremony of reveille, run aloft as a symbol of our belief in the resurrection of the body.”

  1. The first fold of our flag is a symbol of life.
  2. The second fold signifies our belief in eternal life.
  3. The third fold is made in honor and tribute of the veteran departing our ranks, and who gave a portion of his or her life for the defense of our country to attain peace.
  4. The fourth fold exemplifies our weaker nature as citizens trusting in God; it is to Him we turn for His divine guidance.
  5. The fifth fold is an acknowledgment to our country, for in the words of Stephen Decatur, “Our country, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right, but it is still our country, right or wrong.”
  6. The sixth fold is for where our hearts lie. It is with our heart that we pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
  7. The seventh fold is a tribute to our armed forces, for it is through the armed forces that we protect our country and our flag against all enemies.
  8. The eighth fold is a tribute to the one who entered into the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day, and to honor our mother, for whom it flies on Mother’s Day.
  9. The ninth fold is an honor to womanhood, for it has been through their faith, love, loyalty, and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great have been molded.
  10. The 10th fold is a tribute to father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense of our country since he or she was first-born.
  11. The 11th fold, in the eyes of Hebrew citizens, represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon and glorifies, in their eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
  12. The 12th fold, in the eyes of a Christian citizen, represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in their eyes, God the Father, the Son, and Holy Ghost.
  13. The last fold, when the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost, reminding us of our national motto, “In God We Trust.”
flag lowered and folded

Rybin, right, starts making the triangle folds in the huge flag.

Flag folding

The boatyard flag is properly folded to be put away at the end of Veterans Day on Nov. 11. The worn and faded flag will likely be officially retired in a future ceremony.



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