DRAPING THE CASKET WITH THE NATIONAL FLAG
When the U.S. flag covers the casket, it is placed so the union blue field is at the
head and over the left shoulder. It is not placed in the grave and is not allowed to
touch the ground.
FLAGS FOR MILITARY FUNERALS
Flags are provided for burial services of service
members and veterans. The flag for one who dies
on active duty is provided by one's branch of
service. Flags for other veterans are provided by
the Department of Veterans Affairs. The flag is
presented to the next of kin at the end of the
funeral, usually by the military chaplain. If there is
no next of kin present, the flag may be presented to
the veteran's close friend or associate if requested. The flags that have draped the
caskets of the Unknown Soldiers are on display in the Memorial Display Room of
the Memorial Amphitheater.
FIRING THREE RIFLE VOLLEYS OVER THE GRAVE
This practice originated in the old custom of halting the fighting to remove the dead
from the battlefield. Once each army had cleared its dead, it would fire three
volleys to indicate that the dead had been cared for and that they were ready to go
back to the fight. The fact that the firing party consists of seven riflemen, firing
three volleys does not constitute a 21-gun salute.
(see: below)
21 GUN SALUTE
All personal salutes may be traced to the
prevailing use in earlier days to ensure that the saluter placed himself in an
unarmed position. Salute by gunfire is a most-ancient ceremony. The British for
years compelled weaker nations to make the first salute, but in time international
practice compelled "Gun for Gun" in the principle of an equality of nations.

In the earliest days, seven guns was a recognized British National Salute. Those
early regulations stated that, although a ship could fire only seven guns, the forts
could fire for honors three shots to one shot afloat. In that day powder of sodium
nitrate was easier to keep on shore than
at sea. In time, when the quality of gun
powder improved by the use of
potassium nitrate, the sea salute was
made equal to the shore salute, 21 guns
as the highest national honor. Although
for a period of time, monarchies received
more guns than republics, eventually
republics claimed equality.

There was much confusion caused by
the varying customs of maritime states, but finally the British government proposed
to the United States a regulation that provided for "Salute to be Returned Gun for
Gun." The and the United States adopted the 21-gun and "Gun for Gun Return"
August 17, 1875. Previous to that time, our national salute was one gun for each
state. The practice was also a result of usage -- John Paul Jones saluted France
with 13 guns (one for each state) at Quiberon Bay when the Stars and Stripes
received its first salute. This practice was not authorized until 1810.

By the admission of states to the Union, the salute reached 21 guns by 1818. In
1841, the national salute was reduced to 21 guns. In fact, the 1875 adoption of the
British suggestion because a formal announcement that the United States
recognized 21 guns as an international salute.
TAPS
"Taps" is an American call, composed by
the Union Army's Brigadier General Daniel
Butterfield  at Harrison's Landing, Virginia,
in 1862. The call soon became known as "Taps"
because it was often tapped out on a drum in
the absence of a bugler. The call was officially
adopted by the U.S. Army in 1874.
Courtesy of the Military District of Washington
Counter
Military Burials at Sea

(See: Burials at Sea)
Military Funeral Traditions
Do you have questions or comments? You can email us directly or choose
any of a variety of ways to contact The Funeral Source
The Funeral Source.com is operated by The Funeral Source, Cincinnati, Ohio 45239
All Rights Reserved Copyright (c) 2014
FACEBOOK     TWITTER     GOOGLE     LINKEDIN     PINTEREST     EMAIL
.
Your
Cemetery
could
sponsor
this
page
Contact
Us
to find
out how
Need
to send
Flowers?






Flowers,
Gifts Baskets,
Memorial Gifts,
Jewelry, Books
& More
Military Burials
.
the funeral source
"the" source for funeral information
Flag Draping
Caskets
Flags for
Funerals
Cannon
Salutes
3 Rifles
Volleys
Taps
21 Gun
Salutes
Draping Casket with a Flag
Flag Draping of the Casket
Flags Usage for Military Burials
Flags for Military Funerals
Rifle Volleys at Graveside
Firing Three Rifle Volleys
Playing of "Taps" at the Funeral
Taps
Firing Cannon Salutes
Cannon Salutes
Draping Casket with a Flag
21 Gun Salutes
PRACTICE OF FIRING CANNON SALUTES
The custom of firing cannon salutes
originated in the British Navy. When a
cannon was fired, it partially disarmed the
ship. Therefore, firing a cannon in salute
symbolizes respect and trust.
.
COFFEE &
CASKETS
Gatherings of
people to have
open and frank
conversation
about their EOL
Plans. We all
have to do it, so
why not talk
about it? You
can't avoid it
forever.
You can find
The
Funeral
Source
on Facebook