What is the meaning of a flag draped over a casket?

During a military commitment ceremony, the flag which was used to cover the casket is held waisted high over the grave by the pallbearers, and immediately after "Taps," it is carefully folded into the symbolic tricorner shape. The folded flag is then presented as a keepsake to the next of kin. This custom began during the Napoleonic Wars, more than 200 years ago when dead soldiers were carried from the battlefield on a caisson, their flag was draped over them. The blue field with the stars is over the head of the deceased.

Only military personnel are provided with a free flag when they die. Civilians are granted the same honor but must purchase the flag at their own expense if they wish to have one draped over the casket. This is a great way for showing their patriotism and loyalty to our Country, even if they were not able to serve in the military.