Earth, Wind & Flag
The U.S. Government estimates that a nylon flag will last about 90 days if it is only flown from sunrise to sunset in good weather. Flags that are flown 24 hours a day will typically last one half to one third as long. Our flags, however, have a reputation of lasting a lot longer. A flag’s longevity depends on the weather, its location, airborne contamination and how often you fly your flag. Remember, your flag is a piece of cloth that works very, very hard. Throughout its lifetime your flag shakes, trembles, drapes, snaps, chafes, bakes, freezes, ripples, flutters, furls, twists, flaps, strains, flies, unfurls and hangs! Is it any wonder that a flag that flies all the dang time would need replacing two or three times a year? Wind, water, sun and carelessness are the major enemies of a flag. Our flags are the best American made quality offered on the market but only YOU can make sure you get the most out of your purchase! Here are some important tips to lengthen the life of your flag.
- Occasionally wash your flag in warm detergent water will prevent pollutants and dirt from weakening the fabric
- Always let your flag dry thoroughly before storing it to prevent mildew or color transfer
- At the first sign of fraying, you can trim and re-hem the flag, which will help it last longer
- Always keep your flagpole as clean as possible
- Move your pole if your flag doesn't have adequate room to fly unobstructed
- If it is an extremely windy day (20 mph+), or heavy rain or snow, take the flag in
- Don't drive at any speed over parade speed (≈3 mph) with your flag attached to your automobile
- Take extra precautions during the winter, learn more from our article on winter preparedness
When it's too worn out, or if it's torn or faded and it doesn't look nice, that's when you should retire it. Many of you may know that the U.S. Code Title 36 teaches us how to properly retire an American flag; if you don’t you can learn more from our Flag Disposal Guide blog. But what about the rest of your flags?
Law may not require us to say please and thank you, but we all know it is the right thing to do. Apply the same train of thought to the disposal of your flag. It has served you well and shared your message for months, so you shouldn’t just ball it up and throw it in the trash. Instead, make your own tradition. You may fold it and neatly place it in a box before disposing of it. You can burn it as is the custom with American flags. You can join friends, family, or co-workers to say a few words about what that flag means to y’all. Song has been bringing people together for centuries, so play a song you wrote or something meaningful to you that is already written. For example, Billy Joel can help you pay tribute to your beautiful New York state flag. There are at least 50 songs about the state of California. Choose a ritual that will make you feel proud of all you did to repair and take care of your flag.
As always, you should set an example for those in your community. Share your creative ritual with the world through text messages, email, social media, and YouTube. We just ask, if you’re creating a new tradition with one of our flags, that you share that with us. #flagsdotcom @flagsdotcom
Lastly, we'd like to point out there are hundreds of factories all over the world making super cheap flags, t-shirts, mugs, and license plates. Their advantage is that they can hire seamstress' overseas to work for much less than an American minimum wage. All of our manufacturers only have factories in the United States and Eder Flag Mfg. is employee owned. Our policy is that a manufacturer of American flags must be a member of the FMAA (Flag Manufacturers Association of America) to distribute their flags through Flags.com. Please join the movement to give millions of Americans a living wage.