Owning a flag comes with certain responsibilities. Once you’ve bought your flag, whether it’s an American flag, state flag, or another specialty flag, you’re going to want to take care of it properly so it lasts as long as possible.

Displaying a damaged or worn flag is a violation of proper flag etiquette so you want to avoid that as much as possible. With that in mind, here are some tips for caring for your flag.

1- Carefully Choose the Location for Your Flag

After you take your flag home or receive it in the mail if you purchased it from an online flag store, the first step is to choose the right location for displaying it.

If you purchased an indoor flag, it’s important to keep it inside to protect it. If you’re not sure whether your flag is an indoor or outdoor flag, try reading the label or looking at the product listing. Even if it doesn’t specifically state which it is, the fabric content should give you a hint. Outdoor flags are generally made from strong, weather-resistant fabrics like polyester or nylon while indoor flags are commonly made from embroidered cotton and may have details like tassels.

If you have an outdoor flag, you still have to be somewhat careful where you hang it up. Try to avoid hanging it anywhere where the wind could force it up against potentially harmful surfaces like rough siding, cables, wires, or tree branches.

You also don’t want to hang the flag in a location where it could drag on the ground or in any water. Even if it looks like the flag is barely touching the ground beneath it, this could still lead to unnecessary damage over time.

Finally, make sure to place the flagpole somewhere that doesn’t have any dirt or rust that could compromise the integrity of the flagpole.

2- Clean Your Flag Consistently

Flags need to be cleaned regularly to remain looking their best. Washing will help the flag maintain its vibrant color by removing dirt, dust, and other pollutants that may have built up on the flag’s surface.

Don’t just stick your flag in the machine washer and dryer, though. Outdoor flags can generally be safely washed in the machine if you use a gentle spin cycle and pull it out immediately afterward. Use a mild soap and lay the flag flat to dry after the cycle is done.

Indoor flags, on the other hand, can be much more delicate and should generally be dry cleaned rather than machine washed. Professional dry-cleaning is the safest cleaning option for indoor flags.

3- Pay Attention to the Weather

A flag is not a “set it and forget it” kind of item. If you hang a flag outside on your property, you should pay attention to the weather, especially any major wind or rainstorms. Even durable outdoor flags should not stay outside during high-speed winds and heavy rain or snow. Take the flag inside until the storm passes.

4- Keep an Eye Out for Any Damage

You should look closely at your flag every once in a while to check for any wear and tear. Ideally, you’ll notice any damage to your flag as soon as possible so you can address it before the problem gets any worse. A tear that starts out very small can quickly become much larger if the flag is left out waving in the wind.

Some areas of the flag that are particularly prone to damage are the ends of the flags and the fabric around the grommets. The flag’s grommets are the metal rings that surround the holes in one side of the flag. Because the movement of the flag often pulls on this area, tears around the grommets are fairly common.

You can feel free to trim off any fraying or tears on the end of the flag. Just rehem the end once you cut off the problem area and keep an eye on the overall size of the flag. After too many of these kinds of repairs, the flag will no longer be regulation size.

Want to Learn More?

If you’re interested in learning more about proper flag care or anything else about flags, check out AC Flag & Banner. We are an established online flag store that grew from a small family business to a major flag and custom banner retailer. Whatever you need when it comes to flags, AC Flag & Banner can help. Reach out today!