How Long Should My Flag Last?

Linda Snyder ·

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. 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 with your flag attached to your automobile
  • Take extra precautions during the winter, learn more from our article on winter preparedness


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