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    SC National Guard creates state flag folding procedure

    Flag Folding SOP

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Erica Knight | Staff Sgt. Rachel Hill, 169th MEdical Dental Group, and Sgt. Stephen Beasly, C...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Erica Knight 

    108th Public Affairs Detachment

    COLUMBIA, S.C. – Traditionally, during official ceremonies, where the American flag is folded for presentation, the South Carolina Army and Air Guard have followed different procedures for folding and presenting the flag. Moreover, there has been no guidance or standard procedure on how to fold the South Carolina state flag.

    To alleviate this dilemma, a South Carolina state representative approached Jim Melton, the Sergeant at Arms for the S.C. Senate, to find a way to standardize the state flag folding procedure. Melton, in turn, contacted the S.C. National Guard for assistance.

    “When it comes to a state official’s funeral, having a standardized process eliminates the question, ‘how do you do it’,” said Melton.

    To accomplish this, the S.C. Army and Air National Guard Honor Guard teams came together to craft the standard operating procedure on how to fold the state flag.

    “The Adjutant General’s office represents two entities, Army National Guard and Air National Guard,” said Sgt. Maj. Ronald Lee, head of the S.C Army National Guard Honor Guard. “We have a joint force, so a joint force needs to participate.”

    The Honor Guard provides funerals honors for National Guard Soldiers killed on active duty as well as funerals for veterans. They can also provide a color guard for official functions.

    Lee explained that when the South Carolina Flag is folded, the crescent moon should be visible. The newly written procedures will ensure the folded state flag has a unique look that anybody in South Carolina will recognize.

    Members of the Honor Guard come from many different job specialties. Soldiers are required to attend a 40-hour class before they are eligible to be part of the Honor Guard. Part of their instruction includes flag folding at official ceremonies

    Soldiers and airmen who serve on the honor guard teams have a strong sense of duty to the families that they interact with.

    “We have the opportunity to be the last military members that the family comes in contact with,” said Staff Sgt. Rachel Hill, 169th Medical Dental Group. “We provide comfort for the family and leave an everlasting image of the military.”

    When the flag folding procedure is completed, the documents will be submitted to the State House for approval.



    Date Taken: 11.18.2010
    Date Posted: 11.18.2010 16:12
    Story ID: 60424
    Location: COLUMBIA, SC, US 

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