Flag Use & Care Instructions: Cleaning & Maintenance

Flag Use and Care Instructions

Now that you've purchased your new American Flag, it's important to learn some basics about how to properly use and care for your flag.  This video will provide you with some tips that will ensure the best and longest lasting life for your flag.

Flag Use and Care Instructions:

Inspect your flag regularly for signs of wear.  In particular, look for “normal wear” fabric or thread breaks that may occur at the fly end.  This is the end that is furthest from the staff.  Trimming off and re-hemming torn or frayed ends will help extend the life of your flag.

Do not fly your flag where wind will whip it against rough surfaces, tree branches, wires, cables or buildings.  The smallest tear can soon result in a tattered flag.  Keep flagpole surfaces free of heavy dirt, rust, scale and corrosion.  They can damage your flag.

For optimum life, do not fly your flag in snow, heavy rain or abnormally high winds.

Should the flag become wet it should be hung or laid flat and allowed to dry.  Do not fold or roll up a wet or damp flag.

To keep its rich colors looking bright, clean your flag regularly before soiling and discoloration from dirt, smoke, dust and other airborne pollutants set in the fabric.  Outdoor flags can be machine washed on gentle cycle in cold water then thoroughly rinsed and spread or hung to dry.  Make sure the flag is completely dry before putting it away.

When taking the flag down at the end of the day, it is fine to fold it in a square.  The military fold is not required.  The Flag Code of the United States advises that the U.S. Flag should be handled with respect but does not mandate folding the Flag into any particular shape.

Flags made of nylon with gold fringe should be dry-cleaned only.  The gold fringe is not color fast.  Outdoor flags made of nylon material may also be dry-cleaned but flags made of polyester material such as Tough Tex should not.

Regardless of how well it is constructed a flag is made of cloth and sooner or later will succumb to the elements.  However it is well documented that reasonably good care can contribute greatly to a longer life.


Additional Flag Care Tips

American Flag Etiquette


By Chad Creech, All Star Flags