Flag Construction Notes  *  Flag Etiquette  *  Flag Glossary  *  Flag Heraldry   

Q: Why are flags made from different materials?

A:  Flags are purchased for a variety of different purposes. Some flags are used for outdoor display, others for memorial or ceremonial purposes, and others for indoor display. Depending on how it’s going to be displayed, a flag will be manufactured from nylon, cotton, polycotton, polyester, or two-ply spun polyester.

Common materials for flags:
Nylon – Perma-Nyl™ is the most durable and serviceable option. Nylon retains color well, flies nicely in a light breeze, dries well, and is easily cleaned.

Nylon – Spectra-Max™ is a lightweight nylon used mainly for printed territory, state and foreign country flags.

Cotton – Best™ is a traditional, and to many the most beautiful of flag materials.  Best™ has a natural feel and very traditional look, however, like most things made of cotton, it is less durable than other flag fabrics, and should only be used for decorative or ceremonial purposes.

Polycotton blend or polyester – single ply – these materials are generic to our trade, and economical and attractive. They are excellent for temporary flags, or where cost is an issue.

Double-ply Spectra-Pro™ and Koralex II™ spun polyesters are premium polyester materials that hold up well in windy or harsh conditions. Because these materials are spun, they have the feel of cotton, but their synthetic fabrics gives them the durability of nylon.

Please remember:  Always treat any flag with common sense and respect.  Never fold or roll it when wet, regardless of material, and replace it whenever it reaches a condition not befitting the symbol for which it is displayed.  A good rule to remember is ‘if you wouldn’t wear it’, don’t fly it.

Q: How do I clean my flag?

A:  Synthetic material flags such as nylon or polyester can be machine washed with cold water and a mild detergent. These flags should be placed flat to dry.  Natural fiber flags such as cotton and wool should be handled with greater care. Valley Forge Flag suggests spot cleaning or dry-cleaning.  Please contact your local dry cleaners for their recommendation.  In the United States, many professional cleaners will dry-clean your U.S. flag at no charge.

Q: What is the proper way to display my U.S. flag?

A:  Please click here to see our Flag Etiquette page for detailed descriptions based on multiple and variable circumstances.

Q: What is the proper way to dispose of my U.S. flag?

A:  The U.S. Flag Code states that when a flag is in such a condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem of our country for display, it should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.  Your local American Legion, Disabled American Veterans or Veterans’ of Foreign Wars [VFW] will properly dispose of your worn flag at no cost.  The Boy Scouts of American and other civic organizations often conduct drives to collect and properly dispose of worn out American Flags. 

Q: What size flag can be flown from my in-ground pole?

      A:  Pole heights shown are above ground level; flag dimensions are shown as height x width (fly), usually expressed as H x W.  Flag height should be at least 1/4 the height of its pole measured above ground.

Flagpole           Flag (height x fly)
20’                         3’x5’, 4’x6’
25’                         4’x6’, 5’x8’
30’                         5’x8’, 6’x10’
40’-45’                  6’x10’-8’x12’
50’                         8’x12’-10’x15’
60’-65’                 10’x15’-10’x19’
70’-80’                 10’x19’-12’x18’
90’-100’               20’x30’-30’x60’

Remember: Your flag’s height should be at least one-quarter (¼) the height of its pole, measured from ground level. The first dimension shown in flag sizes above is its height.

Q:  How deep must my pole go into the ground?

     A:  As a general rule, ten per-cent (10%) of the height of the pole above ground should be buried in its pole sleeve.  When you buy a 20′ above-ground pole, it is manufactured about 22′ long at the factory.  If you have any questions about your flagpole’s depth, please call us, or check with your local engineering or permitting office.  

Q: What are some general flag care suggestions?

A:  Fly EndsWatch for signs of fraying.  Flags can be trimmed and re-hemmed, greatly prolonging the life of the flag.

Windy Days:  High winds are extremely rough on flags.  If at all possible, take down the flag when winds exceed 35 mph (57 kph).

Rain or Snow:  For best results, do not expose your flag to these elements. If exposed, following a heavy rain or snowstorm, take down the flag and spread it to dry; do not fold or roll a wet flag.

Air Pollution:  To minimize the effects of dirt, smog, smoke, etc. keep your flag clean.  Having two flags to fly and regularly rotating them is the recommended method for prolonging the life of your flag.

Q: What is the expected life of a flag?

      A:  Our U.S. Government customers have told us they generally expect an outdoor flag to last approximately ninety (90) days when flown from dawn until dusk in good weather.  Sensible care always results in a flag lasting longer and looking better over time.

Q: What do I do with the clear plastic ring(s) that came with my recently purchased sleeved flag kit?

        A:  The clear plastic rings that come with your sleeved flag allow you to also display it as a flag flying from grommets.

When mounting a flag with grommets, do the following:

1. Attach the upper left grommet of the flag to the metal hook at the top of the pole.
2. Slide the clear plastic ring up the bottom of the flagpole so that it meets with the lower left grommet of the flag.
3. Put the ring through the grommet in the flag.
4. Twist the thumb screw, leaving enough clearance so the ring rotates around the pole.

Q: What are the rules for returning items I have purchased?

      A:  All sales are final.  However, we will accept certain returned stock products for credit, subject to the following:   Returning any item requires prior authorization from Bob’s Flags and Banners, in writing (via email) and in advance of the return. To obtain your Returned Goods Authorization (RGA), call Customer Service at 1-760-247-2301. Click here to read more about our Sales & Returns policy.

Q: What warranty does Bob’s Flags and Banners offer on its products?

      A:  Bob’s Flags and Banners warranties most products for one (1) year from the date of purchase, however, some restrictions apply.  Click here to read more about our Warranty policy.

Updated October 28, 2019