Apple Springs volunteer firefighters explain why they folded the American flag

APPLE SPRINGS, TX (KTRE) - Logan Presley and Esau Hernandez were just doing their job when an EF3 tornado hit the small town of Pennington right outside of Crockett earlier this week.

The firefighters went into the woods near the main destruction site on Highway 287 when they found an American flag completely intact wrapped around a bunch of bushes and debris.

As the men carried the flag out of the debris, a camera snapped a photograph of them. The men said they didn't even know someone was taking pictures of them and in that moment they decided to fold the flag properly because it was important to them.

"We took the time to fold it simply because it's the right thing to do just out of respect," said Hernandez, the captain of the Apple Springs Volunteer Fire Department. "Our military, everbody fights to keep that honorable flag flying."

Presley, a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, says he hopes their action to fold the flag spreads more patriotism to others.

"I love this country. I fought for the flag and you know it's respect and I'll always have respect for the flag," Presley said.

When Sherry Culp, a Chaplin of the Major Jarrell Beasley Chapter of the Daughter's of the American Revolution, heard the story she broke into tears.

"There are no words left to say what that means and what it should mean to Americans," Culp said.

Culp says the picture is an important moment in our history because it proves that everyone should know how to properly fold the flag.

Hernandez agrees saying he was sad to see the debris, but when he spotted the flag it gave him hope.

"It made me feel good to see that the flag was intact. It just goes to show how strong we all are as a nation," Hernandez said.

Culp says there are four steps to follow in order to properly fold the American flag.

Step 1: Two people face each other, each holding one end of the flag. Stretch it horizontally at waist height and fold in half lengthwise.

Step 2: Fold the flag in half lengthwise again; the union (blue field) should be on the outside with edges held together.

Step 3: One person holds the flag by the union while the other starts at the opposite end by making a triangular fold.

Step 4: Continue to fold in triangles until the flag resembles a cocked hat with only the blue field showing.

Culp says everyone should teach their children what the flag means.

"Each fold of the flag has a meaning. Each stripe has a meaning; each star has a meaning," Culp said. "The blue field has a meaning."

The first fold of the American flag is a symbol of life. The second fold is a symbol of the belief in eternal life. The third fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veteran departing ranks and who gave a portion of his or her life for the defense of the country to attain peace throughout the world.

The fourth fold represents the weaker nature; as American citizens trusting in God. The fifth fold is a tribute to the country. The sixth fold is for where American hearts lie. It is with their heart that they pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America.

The seventh fold is a tribute to America's armed forces. The eighth fold is a tribute to the one who entered into the valley of the shadow of death. The ninth fold is a tribute to womanhood. The tenth fold is a tribute to fathers. The eleventh 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, Issac and Jacob.

The last fold, in the eyes of a Christian citizen, represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies God the Father, the Son and Holy Ghost.

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