How long will my flag last?
Caring for Your New Flag
Our flags are one of the very finest made flags on the market today. Given reasonable care, it should provide maximum service and satisfaction. Here are a few suggestions to help you enjoy your new flag longer:
- Only flags made specifically for exterior use should be displayed outdoors.
- For the best results, do not expose your flag to rain, snow or abnormally high winds. These forces of nature can shorten its life considerably. Should the flag become wet, it should be spread out and allowed to dry completely. Do not fold or roll up a wet or damp flag.
- To keep its rich colors looking bright, clean your flag regularly before soiling and discoloration from dirt. Smoke, dust and other airborne contaminants "set" in the fabric. Outdoor flags can be hand washed with warm water and a mild soap, then rinsed thoroughly and spread out to dry. Do not let the flag stand in the wash water or you might experience some color "make off" into the white stripes. Professional dry cleaning is recommended for indoor/parade flags.
- Incidentally, many establishments will clean Old Glory free of charge, especially during the period just prior to Flag Day, June 14.
- Do not place the flag where the wind will whip it against rough surfaces, tree branches, wires, cables, etc. The smallest tear can soon result in a tattered flag. Keep pole surfaces free of heavy dirt, rust, scale and corrosion that could damage your flag.
- Inspect your flag regularly for signs of wear. In particular, look for "normal wear" fabric or thread breaks which may occur in the "fly" end. This is the end farthest from the staff. Trimming off and re-hemming torn or frayed ends will help extend the life of your flag.
How Long Will a Flag Last?
There is no exact answer. The U.S. Government generally expects a nylon or cotton flag to last 90 days based on being flown daily from sunrise to sunset - but not during periods of inclement weather. Tests have shown that, in some cases, a flag flown 24 hours a day will last only one-fourth as long as one flown only during the daylight hours.
Regardless of how well it is constructed, a flag is, after all, only made of cloth and will sooner or later succumb to the elements. However, it has been well documented that reasonably good care can contribute greatly to longer life.
Note to Large Flag Users (12 feet x 18 feet and up)
Larger flags naturally represent a more significant investment, and as such, should be given maximum protection. The above advice of inspecting your flag bears repeating to keep your flag in good repair: Inspect your flag regularly for signs of wear. In particular, look for "normal wear" fabric or thread breaks which may occur in the "fly" end. This is the end farthest from the staff. Trimming off and re-hemming torn or frayed ends will help extend the life of your flag.
Consider having two flags and rotating them on a regular basis. Tests have shown that flag fibers actually benefit from periodic "rest". Also you will not be without a flag while one is being cleaned or repaired.