Americans are a proud people and our feelings toward Old Glory are no exception to the rule. Sadly, we can’t protect our flags & banners all of the time and as a result they take a large amount of wear and tear. Below is a short list of things to keep an eye out for in hopes of prolonging the good looks of your flags and providing proper flag maintenance in the years to come.
Flag Maintenance Countdown: 5 Tips for Flags & Banners
5. The sun
Protecting your flag from the sun is like saving an ice cube from the cold . . . it just can’t be done. Unfortunately, whether you have a printed or appliquéd flag it is only a matter of time before the sun’s rays fade the colors in your flag. Printed flags use UV inks and appliquéd flags are dyed in a manner that fights against the sun but ultimately the sun will win this battle.
That’s right, the very thing that makes your flag fly so beautifully and proudly also destroys it little by little. When the wind blows through a flag, the flag makes a motion similar to that of a bullwhip. You can even hear a flag make that “cracking whip” sound if the winds are blowing strongly enough. This whip motion sends energy down the length of the flag causing it to rip at the fly end. Accent Banner has developed super strong finishing for flags such as reinforced headers, corners, and fly ends. Nonetheless, the ideal way of avoiding wind damage to your flag is to bring the flag indoors during high wind weather.
Flags flying in urban environments suffer damage from pollution the most. With each passing car, semi-truck, or even trains the air is filled with soot and pollutants that embed themselves into the fibers of a flag. This causes discoloration and also weakens the fibers of the flag material. Accent Banner offers flag cleaning and repair services, but if you would like to give it a shot yourself you can download a how to you guide on our site.
2. Trees, houses, and other objects
Imagine an ice sculptor who uses a chisel to chip away at a large piece of ice to make their creation. Slowly but surely they chip away at a once solid and strong piece of ice creating beautiful yet fragile ice sculpture. When a flag whips thru the air and comes in contact with tree limbs, building facades, or any other object that flag is being chiseled away at and eventually becomes weaker and weaker. The only solution for this is to not fly a flag where it will come in contact with any other object.
There’s a saying, “We hurt the ones we love the most.” In the case of flags that is most certainly true. It is ironic that our love and pride in a flag is often the cause of its demise but it is. We love to see our flag flying so much that we often neglect to bring the flag indoors during inclement weather. You may be surprised at how much longer a flag can last outdoors when it is treated with care and stored indoors during spells of nasty weather, not to mention that there are actual federal laws against flying the American flag in severe conditions.
In other words, use common sense when displaying your custom flag. Anything that might damage or soil your flag should be avoided. A flag may look beautiful flying along side a busy road but if that road has a lot of traffic you risk exposing your flag to soot and other pollutants. Placing a flag in a high wind area puts the flag at risk of tearing. Placing a flag next to a cactus in a windy, sun beaten desert where there is no one to look after it is just plain asking for trouble.