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Product Life & Use:

Preventing Premature Flag and Banner Failure

The flags we sell are built to the highest quality standards of material and workmanship in the industry. However one important factor we cannot control is the way flags are treated by customers! Premature flag or banner failure can, in a majority of cases, be prevented.
No Excuse for Neglected Frays

Give your flag the attention it deserves. Watch the corners of the "fly end" of your flag, this normally being the first area to show signs of wear.  Trim off the worn hem and re-hem the end. It's perfectly proper and, when done promptly, can greatly extend the life of your flag. Remember, "A stitch in time saves Old Glory."


High Winds Ruin Flags

When your flag has to take the lashing punishment of high winds, something has to "give." Use common sense, you can tell when the wind is "working" your flag too hard. Remember, wind velocity at the top of your flagpole is usually much greater than at ground level.


Rain is Tough on Flags

The combination of wind and rain can literally beat some of the dye out of flag fabrics and cause color migration. This condition can occur even to the finest quality dyes and materials. In the last decade, advances have been made in dying techniques and processing that have addressed these issues, but the greater wisdom would be to be attentive to any color damage  due to storm conditions.  We use Solar Max nylon for all of our nylon products, which is now the industry standard for maximum colorfastness. The traditional wisdom is that if your flag suffers color damage and soiling due to storm exposure, prompt washing in a mild detergent will usually remove the discoloration.  Remember that the added weight of moisture in the fabric causes the flag to snap harder and wear out sooner. Be practical...avoid flying your flag in the rain, and don't fly your flag in stormy weather.


Indoor and Parade Flags Need Care, Too!

Damage to indoor flags is mainly a result of gross neglect such as failure to have soiled flags properly and frequently cleaned, exposure to gas fumes and soot from inefficient heating systems, heavy humid stale air due to lack of ventilation, prolonged exposure to direct sunlight, abusive handling, etc.

In addition, parade flags can be damaged by improper storage, rolling and storing when wet, damp, or dirty. Unnecessary exposure to inclement weather and thoughtless handling also take their toll.


Caring for Your New Flag or Banner  -  The Do's and Don'ts

Here are a few suggestions to help you prolong the life and quality of your flag or banner:

  1. Only flags made specifically for exterior use should be displayed outdoors.
  2. For best results, do not expose your flag to rain, snow or abnormally high winds; these forces of nature can shorten its life considerably. Should the flag become wet, it should be spread out and allowed to dry completely. Do not fold or roll-up a wet or damp flag or banner.
  3. To keep its rich colors looking bright, clean your flag regularly, before soiling and discoloration from dirt, smoke, dust and other airborne contaminants "set" in the fabric. Outdoor flags and banners can be hand washed with warm water and a mild soap, then thoroughly rinsed and spread out to dry. Do not let the flag stand in the wash water. Professional dry cleaning is specifically recommended for indoor parade flags. But be sure to ask about the viability of cleaning any flag or banner using the dry cleaning process before committing to the cleaning process. Vinyl banners can be cleaned with water and mild soap, rinsing thoroughly. Do not use commercial cleaners on vinyl, and be sure to pre-test use on fabric for evidence of discoloration or "watermarks".
  4. Do not place the a flag where the wind will whip it against rough surfaces, tree branches, wires, cables, etc. The smallest tear can soon result in a tattered flag. Keep pole surfaces free of heavy dirt, rust, scale and corrosion that could damage the flag.
  5. Inspect your flag or banner regularly for signs of wear. In particular, look for "normal wear" fabric or thread breaks which may occur in the "fly" end. This is the end farthest from the staff. Trimming off and re-hemming torn or frayed ends will help extend the life of the flag.


How Long Will the Flag Last

There is no exact answer. The U.S. Government generally expects a nylon or cotton bunting flag to last approximately 90 days, based on daily usage from sunrise to sunset - but not during periods of inclement weather. Tests have shown that in some cases a flag flown 24 hours a day will last only one-fourth as long as one flown during daylight hours only.  Our custom-made nylon flags generally do better in the field as reported by our customers, with a real-time life expectancy of 4 months to a year with every day exposure, excluding stormy weather.  Nylon or vinyl banners that are rigged in position, hung as outrigger banners, or wall mounted enjoy even  longer life span due to rigging-reduced stress.  Flags fly and beat in the wind, or bang against the pole, whereas banners are held more stationery due to proper rigging and attachment.

Regardless of how well a flag or banner is constructed, it is, after all, constructed of fabric and will sooner or later succumb to the elements.  Good care, however, can greatly impact its lifespan.  Many people suggest that rotation of the flags in use is the wise way to further increase longevity. Consider having two flags and rotating them on a regular basis.  A further benefit of rotating use of your flags is that while one is being cleaned or repaired, you are displaying the other.

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