Care and handling of your International or Custom Flags
People often ask how long a flag should last and the answer is, "it all depends". Flags can last all of one day in a hurricane wind or ice storm. They may last many years with proper care.
Weather plays a major factor in the life of a flag as well as where it is flown from and how often. Wind, water ,ice and sun all work together to lessen the life of any flag.
It is best to take it down during foul weather. Remember that if it is windy at ground level it is much worse at the top of the flagstaff.
Heavy rain will increase the weight of the flag which will cause unnecessary wear, especially in high winds. Damage to flags is often caused by objects that the flag beats against in the wind, or by old style wooden flagstaffs which do not have a smooth finish.
To reduce the risk of damage, ensure that the halyard is taunt at all times, and that there is no risk of the flag snagging.
The conditions that affect the flag on your flagpole are like fingerprints - No two are alike. Even Flags on adjacent poles do not necessarily receive the same effects of the “same” weather; a building may partially block some of the elements of the weather from the flag on one pole while the flag on the pole right next to the first pole, may get the full force of the weather. Maybe the flag is too close to a structure and when the wind is right, the flag touches or hits the structure causing damage. Just being out in the sun affects the material. The dyes used in our flags are all tested for uv stability however salt and direct sunlight can have adverse effects on colour.
Our flags are made of high quality outdoor fabric, BUT IT IS STILL FABRIC, not “Miracle” material so the elements of weather, location and usage all affect the life of your flag. So we cannot answer your question of “How long will my flag last???” BUT what we can do is help you find ways to extend the life of your flag.
Here are some things that you can do to help yourself and to help extend the life of your flag...
• When you notice that the flying edge is starting to fray, take the flag down and have it repaired If you wait too long, the damage may not be repairable.
• Wash your flag occasionally, to remove the dirt and grim which deteriorates the flag fabric. Wash the flag in cold or Luke warm water with a regular detergent, like the one that you would use to wash your own clothes.
• Completely air dry your flag before folding and storing it for future use to prevent mold and mildew. (It should also be dry even if you are putting it back up on the pole because, if wet, it can be stained and dirtied by dirt and contaminated on the flagpole itself.
Finally, here is a tip to always have a great looking flag on you pole and to NEVER be put in the embarrassing position of not having a great looking flag ready to fly for that important visitor that’s arriving in 3 hours or tomorrow morning at 8:00am: Make sure that you have 3 flags in your in possession:
• Flag #1 - your “everyday” flag on the pole
• Flag #2 – Your 2nd flag that is either being repaired or has already been cleaned and repaired
• Flag #3 - A new flag ready to replace either flag 1 or 2 when the “visitor” unexpectedly shows up or when flags 1 or 2 can no longer be repaired.
When you have used Flag #3 to replace 1 or 2, then you can order a replacement flag, without panic or incurring extra rush or overnight shipping charges. With keeping your flags in good repair and ready to fly you should get the lifespan of 3 flags for the price of 2.