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The American Flag

HAPPY 4th of July!!

There is no more cherished symbol of the United States than the American Flag. Whether you fly a flag daily or bring it out to honor our country on special days, taking care of the flag is important. If your flag is looking dingy or is soiled, washing it is quite appropriate.

Washing the flag on a regular basis can prolong its life. Most outdoor flags are now made of polyester or nylon. These can be hand-washed in cool water with a mild laundry detergent. If you have a cotton flag, it can be laundered in the same way.

Do not put the flag in the dryer. Hang it and allow it to drip dry. If it is wrinkled, use a cool iron to press nylon or polyester and a hot iron for cotton. If you drip dry it this probably won’t be necessary.

If you are not sure of the material of your flag or it is an older flag, take it to the dryer cleaner. Many offer free flag cleaning services, especially in the month of July.

State and organization flags can be cared for in the same manner.

Remove Stains from Flag

If your flag has a stain caused by outdoor elements, add some all-fabric bleach or ½ cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide to cool water and allow the flag to soak for several hours. Rinse well in clear, cool water. If you have rust stains on the flag, you can cautiously use a commercial rust removing product. You can also mix a paste of lemon juice and cream of tartar and apply to the rust. Let this mixture sit about 20 minutes, then flush. Be sure the red on the flag is colorfast before trying this.

Flag Repairs

If your flag is in good condition but has a small rip, you can make repairs. Do not alter the size of the flag and make your work as unnoticeable as possible. You can also have it repaired by a professional seamstress. Flags that are excessively torn or frayed should be disposed of properly. Do this by following the US Flag Code which you can find on the internet.