The United States flag plays a prominent role in military funerals. As such, it’s important to have officers on hand who can not only ensure that the fallen service member is properly honored, but also see to it that the flag is handled with care and respect.
These officers are collectively known as the flag detail and may include a number of officers tasked with different activities. A couple of members of the detail will be responsible for handling the flag and folding it at the proper time. (The folds of the flag are rich in symbolic significance, and it’s vitally important that this act is taken on with the requisite attention.) These flag folders will then furnish the flag to the deceased’s next of kin.
There are other important roles included in the flag detail, including pallbearers - whose job is to make sure that the fallen service member’s casket is transported respectfully and carefully.
In other words, the flag detail serves in both a symbolic role and a functional one. The members of the flag detail bring a lot of ceremonial significance to the military funeral service, but their actions are also necessary for keeping the events of the service moving forward.
As you consider the funeral arrangements for your deceased service member, you may have questions about how to arrange the proper flag detail, and what tasks you can expect them to perform during the service. Reaching out to the local VFW or American Legion can provide you with the answers you need. Alternatively, you can always ask your funeral home director for their insights on the matter.