please answer a question about protocol

Discussion in 'Other US Flag Etiquette' started by ladynic, Mar 27, 2008.

  1. ladynic

    ladynic New Member

    Hi i'm from england and have just watched a programme called army wives, right at the end they were having a burial, we saw something which has us curious, pardon our ignorance but why is there three bullets placed in the folded flag just before it is passed to the family :confused:
     
  2. hia there!

    im from England aswell

    welcome to USA flag site

    It is not a universal tradition, but spent shell casings are sometimes placed in the folded flag presented to the family.
    It is a memento of a rifle volley that honors the service of the departed.

    hope that answers ur question

    any more questions feel free to ask
     
  3. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    The three bullets in the flag seems to be another of those traditions whose origins are hard to pin down. The interesting question is, why three as opposed to some other number? It seems to have something to do with the fact that it's traditional to fire three volleys over the grave, regardless of the number of shots in each volley. I remember reading a story somewhere about the three bullets symbolizing honor, duty and country, or some such thing, but that sounds like an after-the-fact invention.

    My grandfather was a career officer in the US Coast Guard, and served at sea during World War I. When he was buried in Arlington National Cemetery, each of his grandchildren received one of the casings from the rounds that were fired. I missed the ceremony (I was at sea in the Navy), but I still have the casing.

    Peter Ansoff
     
  4. oh! Peter - i didn't know you had served!

    wow !
    ;D

    is this when you got interested in flags then? - sorry for going off topic ! lol
     
  5. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    is this when you got interested in flags then?

    No, it was actually long before that. When I was about 8 years old, the people down the hill from us had a big flagpole in front of their house, and I thought that was neat. My father found me a bamboo pole, a pulley and some rope, and my mother gave me a US flag and sewed me a couple of other flags (one was a pirate flag, I remember). It just sort of went from there.
     
  6. ladynic

    ladynic New Member

    THANK YOU TO ALL WHO ANSWERED MY QUESTION WE HAD A FEELING THAT THOSE WERE THE ANSWERS & PLEASED TO SEE SO MANY PEOPLE ANSWERED ME THANKS AGAIN :D
     

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