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Introducing the Ceremonial Fold

If you happen to be near the Presidential Palace in Buenos Aires, Argentina during a ceremonial flag lowering, don't be surprised if you see a military official crumple the flag up into a ball. This might seem disrespectful, but it's quite the opposite. In Argentina, the most respectful way to "fold" a flag is to wad it up so that the central Sol de Mayo (Sun of May) appears to be a ball of flames.

What is a ceremonial fold?

Although the Argentinian crumple is unique, it's hardly the only country to have its own ceremonial folding technique. In the USA, the flag is folded 13 times to represent the 13 original colonies. In India, it's folded in a rectangle so the blue Dharma Chakra is showing. In Iceland, the flag is rolled so that only the blue is showing.

These ceremonial folds are not the most common way to store flags. In most countries they are used only when protocol requires it, such as at formal state functions or military funerals. Still, some people choose to use a ceremonial fold out of respect for the flag or just for display purposes.

The True South ceremonial fold

To add to the growing number of traditions surrounding the flag, it seemed fitting for True South to have a ceremonial fold of its own. The idea, like in many other folds, was for the emblems and meaning of the flag to still be apparent.

Thanks to consultation with a few origami experts, the final fold is one that reveals a modified version of the white peak and navy compass arrow on both the obverse and reverse sides of the fold. It may take you a few tries to get it right (it did for us!) but remember— this is your flag to fold however you like. When you're feeling fancy, though, you can give this a try.

Click here to view a PDF version of the instructions. Happy folding!

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