While attending Veteran's Day ceremonies this year, I learned a few things. Did you know that at military funerals, the 21 gun salute stands for the sum of the numbers in the year 1776? 1+7+7+6 = 21. As part of a military funeral, a flag is folded 13 times and given to the family. Many think the number 13 comes from the original 13 American colonies, but that is not correct. Here is the explanation that was read aloud on Veteran's Day in Alameda.
After the flag is completely folded in this way and tucked in, it resembles a cocked hat - reminding us of the soldiers who served under General George Washington, and the Sailors and Marines who served under Captain John Paul Jones, who were followed by their comrades and shipmates in the Armed Forces of the United States, preserving for us the rights, privileges and freedoms we enjoy today.
Our constitution separates church and state. The relationship between the two is not carved in stone. IMHO folding the flag in this manner is a tribute to those who have fallen as well as the many religions that are practiced in our country.
American history is alive in the lab.