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How to Preserve the Life of Your Flag

How to Preserve the Life of Your Flag

When flying a flag or banner outside your home or business, it is important to take the appropriate steps to protect against the elements and preserve the life of the flag or banner.  Proper protection can help ensure that your flag will last longer and stay brighter.

Selecting the Appropriate Material

Most US flags and banners are made of one of the following materials: cotton, nylon, or polyester.  Each material has its own benefits, and this should be taken into consideration when choosing the appropriate material for your flag or banner. Cotton flags are best suited for indoors but can be flown outside for short periods of time. 

Keep in mind that cotton fades quickly in the sun, will not hold up well in harsh weather conditions, and are not meant to be left outside for extended periods. Nylon is a durable, all-weather material, meant for sustained outdoor use.  It’s still important to note that harsh conditions and high winds may damage a nylon flag or banner. 

When harsh weather is expected, it is recommended that the flag be taken down beforehand, to ensure protection. Polyester is best suited for high wind areas.  This material is heavier and needs more wind to fly, but is also stronger and can withstand harsher conditions.  No matter what material you choose, it’s important to protect your flag or banner from harsh weather, whenever possible.

Cleaning Your Flag

Cleaning your flag can actually help protect it, and even help it last longer.  Most outdoor flags and banners can be hand-washed, using a mild detergent.   If you choose to wash your flag in the washing machine, be sure never to let the flag sit or soak in water, as this may cause the colors to run.  Flags should be laid flat to dry; never crumple or fold a wet flag or banner.

Treating Your Flag for Damage

If your flag is subjected to harsh conditions, it’s important to check your flag for damage, such as tearing or fraying.  A damaged flag should be taken down immediately, not only is it a sign of disrespect to display a damaged flag, but it is also more likely to succumb to more tearing or fraying.  A damaged flag may be replaced or repaired.  6x10’ flags and larger should be sent to the manufacturer to be repaired, please call Gates Flag and Banner Co., Inc. for pricing.  Smaller flags can be repaired by a dry cleaner or tailor.

This image shows a flag, damaged beyond repair.

No matter the material of your flag or banner, you will want to ensure proper handling. If you are not sure of how to take care of your flag or banner, the manufacturer is a great source.

Gates Flag and Banner Co., Inc. can provide information to help you protect and ensure the longest life for your flag or banner. Flag and banner makers know the steps that need to be taken to care for your item.

Watch the “Flag Use and Care” Video Here!

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