How long will a Flag last?

Mar 21st, 2019

How long will a flag last? There is no exact answer. 

How to Care of Your FlagWith such variation in degrees of usage, constantly changing weather patterns, and different climate conditions where displayed, its not easily measured.  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. Tests have shown that in some cases a flag flown 24 hours a day will last only 1/4 as long as one flown during day light hours only. 

Unfortunately, flags don't last forever, after awhile the cloth will sooner or later succumb to the elements it is exposed to. It has been documented that reasonably good care and love for the flag can greatly prolong the life of your flag.

Things that will help prolong life of a flag: 

  • Try to avoid flying your flag in the rain or snow.
  • High winds combined with water puts undue strain on the flag.
  • You can prevent mildew by letting your flag dry thoroughly before storing it.
  • The fly end will be the first to reveal wear and tear. When this begins, you may take the flag down trim off the old hem and re-hem your flag. Do this at the first sign of fraying to prevent the material from shredding. Doing so could give you one or possibly two more display times out of the flag.
  • Beware of obstacles from other nearby surfaces. (Such a trees or phone lines) This will cause a weakening of the materials.
  • Use the proper size of flag on your flagpole. A flag that is too large may cause the pole and flag undue stress in high winds.
  • Smog and atmosphere conditions will not only cause discoloration, but weaken the fabric of your flag.
  • Continuous day and night display will shorten the life of your flag.

How to clean a flag: 


  • Outdoor flags can be hand-washed with warm water and a mild soap, then thoroughly rinsed and spread out to dry.
  • Professional dry cleaning is recommended for indoor/parade flags. Incidentally, some establishments will clean Old Glory free of charge.


Thank you for reading our blog post about how long a flag will last. I hope you have learned that there are many factors that go into how long a particular flag will last. Answers will vary based on location, size, material, weather, etc. This is why figuring out which type of flag material works best for you, is important. Here at Flagpoles Etc., we understand that flags do, eventually need to be disposed of (or fixed) and changed out after a period of time, so we think it's important to offer a flag maintenance program for our customers convenience. For a standard rate ($120-$ Depending on flag size and type) per year, we will come out and change your flag four times. Many customers love this so they don't have to ever worry about their flag being anything less than perfect! Call us now to sign up for our Flag Maintenance Program.