Flag & Pole FAQ

 

Which Flag is Right for Me?

How do I choose the best flag material?

Most flags are made with lightweight and durable nylon. This multi-purpose fabric makes them great for everyday flying. These can be flown on any size flagpole, including the house-mounted poles. Polyester American flags are heavy-duty, but not all polyester is made the same! To learn more about materials, visit our "What Material is Right for Me" article. American flags are also available in cotton, but they're for decorative or memorial purposes. 

What size flag do I need?

As a rule of thumb, when flying one flag on a pole, the flag length should be a quarter the height of the flagpole. For more size recommendations, check out our flag chart for indoor and outdoor flagpoles

yHow to Pick a Flag Size for a Flagpole Infographic

What are house & garden flags?

House and garden flags, sometimes called decorative banners, are vertically designed with a pole sleeve on top for home décor. These are available in various designs, including options for each holiday. House flags are usually about 40" x 28". They are best suited for wall-mounted or porch poles - such as our renowned tangle-free flagpole. Garden flags are about 12" x 18" in size. These can be displayed on a standard garden flagpole and make a great addition to any yard or garden.  

What's the difference between single-sided and double-sided flags?

The single-sided printing method is the most popular among flags worldwide. Single-sided flags fly beautifully, and unless you have wording that should be easy to read from either side, it's the best option. Double-sided flags are a little heavier, so gravity is more likely to weigh them down. Visit our blog to learn more about these flag finishes.

What's the difference between grommets and sleeves?

Grommets are metal rings that attach a flag to any outdoor flagpole. Over 95% of flags are grommeted, but sleeves are sometimes preferred for indoor or decorative flags. In our "What's the Difference Between Grommets and Sleeves?" blog, we get into greater detail.

What are fringed flags?

Fringe is used as an "honorable enrichment" to adorn American, state, international and military flags. Fringe adds a timeless elegance to any flag. These are not designed to withstand the outdoor elements. It would be best if you only used them outside for short durations, such as during a parade. Learn everything you need to know about fringed flags by visiting our blog. 

What Can I Expect from a Flag?

How long does a flag last?

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 typically last one-half to one-third as long as cared for flags. Our flags, however, have a reputation of lasting a lot longer. A flag's longevity depends on many factors, which you can read about in our "Earth, Wind, & Flag" article.

How do I make my flag last longer?

  • Occasionally washing it in warm detergent water will prevent pollutants and dirt from weakening the fabric
  • Always let it 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 it inside
  • 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 

How do I take care of my flag in winter?

  • Try polyester, which is more winterproof
  • Try a smaller one if you experience high winds
  • Replace pole parts as necessary to prevent damage
  • When the weather gets bad enough, take your flag inside 
  • Wash your flag and clean your flagpole
  • Regularly inspect your flag

Learn all the important dos and don'ts of flag and flagpole winter care from our blog.

How can I iron a flag?

You will need an ironing board or a towel on which you can lay your flag. Use an iron with a built-in spray, or any iron along with a spray bottle, to lightly mist the flag. We have step-by-step instructions for ironing your flag, an instructional video, and other tips on our blog.

Why are Windspeeds Important?

Wind speeds are relevant to flag flying because higher wind speeds can be damaging. The National Weather Service states that winds between 1 to 3 mph cause little movement, while winds between 8 to 12 mph make flags extend completely out. If you're in an area that consistently has higher wind speeds than this, you might want to consider polyester. If wind speeds go higher than 40 mph, it's time to take your flag inside until the weather calms down. 

If winds get high enough, you should also protect your flagpole. This would include bringing down your wall-mounted flagpole or lowering your telescoping flagpole. To know when your flagpole needs protection from the wind, check the wind rating of your pole. If it doesn’t have a wind rating, we also recommend protective measures at wind speeds higher than 40 mph. 

To understand further understand the power of the wind, check out our chart showing wind speeds and their visual cues

How Tall of a Flagpole Should I Buy?

Residential buildings are usually 10 feet per story. Commercial ceilings are a little higher, averaging about 14 feet. When selecting a pole, you should aim for the pole to be at least slightly higher than the building itself. There are "5 Factors to Consider when Buying a Flagpole."

Remember, when choosing a flagpole, it's important to consider your budget, not just height. It's okay if your pole isn't the exact size recommended, as long as it works for you.

How Do I Properly Display my American Flag?

If you're really interested in etiquette, please visit our flag etiquette blog for more tips and rules!

graphic showing where to fly the US flag in reference to other possible flags such as country, state, or military

How do I Avoid Disrespecting the Flag?

The flag must be illuminated if it is being flown after sunset or before sunrise. Check out our solar lights if you need to illuminate your flag. If you want to know about flag code, check out our blog - "Flag Law: All the "Don'ts" of  Flag Flying."

A graphic showing the rules of the American Flag Code

How Do I Properly Dispose of the American Flag?

The process to retire and dispose of the American flag can be time-consuming and involved, depending on the method you select. There is both a burial and a burning method. The U.S. government has laid out specific guidelines for both ceremonies. For instructions on where to take your flags for retirement, how to have your own retirement ceremony, for our help with flag disposal, check out the flag disposal article. 

How Do I Fly My Flag at Half-Staff?

When raising the American flag into a half-staff position, bring it to the top of the pole for just a moment before bringing it down halfway. You will do the same thing at sunset and bring it to the top of the pole before bringing it down for the night. The flag is typically flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset, except for Memorial Day, when it's from sunrise to noon. 

Not able to fly your flag at half-staff?

You can buy a mourning bow or mourning streamer for the top of your pole that will represent half-staff. 

When do I fly my flag at half-staff?

Not sure when to fly your American flag at half staff? We provide a service to all subscribers where you can be notified any time there is a national half-staff alert. You can NOW subscribe to half-staff alerts for your state too! Subscribing is how you can learn more about how half-staff proclamations work. 

When Do I Salute the Flag?

The flag is saluted if:

  • It is passing in a parade
  • It is being hoisted or lowered
  • The National Anthem is playing
  • The Pledge of Allegiance is being said

When are the Flag Flying Holidays? 

You can easily keep track of holidays by downloading our digital Free Flag Flying Day Calendar. Check out our flag flying holiday page for a printable list of flag flying holidays. 

Each state also has a special day when the state flag should be flown. This day is on the anniversary of the state joining the union. Learn when each state joined the union from our "How to Display the Flags of the 50 States" blog article.

How Do I Fold the American Flag into a Triangle?

Each fold of the flag has a significant meaning. Read more about the meaning of each American flag fold by checking out our blog.

a graphic showing the steps on how to properly fold the American flag

 

Still have questions? Feel free to contact us. 

 

Wind speeds are relevant to flag flying because higher wind speeds can be damaging. The National Weather Service states that winds between 1 to 3 mph cause little movement, while winds between 8 to 12 mph make flags extend completely out. If you're in an area that consistently has higher wind speeds than this, you might want to consider polyester. If wind speeds go higher than 40 mph, it's probably a good idea to take it inside until the weather calms down. If winds get high enough (40+ mph), you should also protect your flagpole if it isn’t wind-rated. This would include bringing down your wall-mounted flagpole or lowering your telescoping flagpole. 

 


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