The life of your flag depends on your care. Dirt can cut fabrics, dull colors, and cause wear. Most outdoor flags can be washed in mild detergent and thoroughly rinsed. Indoor and parade flags should be dry-cleaned. Many dry cleaners offer free cleaning of U.S. flags during the months of June and July.
- Damaged flags can be repaired and utilized as long as the overall dimensions are not noticeably altered.
- The American Legion, the Girl Scouts, the Boy Scouts of America, all other major veterans’ organizations and some local governments conduct proper flag retirement ceremonies.
- Store your flags in a well ventilated area away from any harsh chemicals or cleaning compounds.
- If your flag gets wet, never store it until it is completely dry. Wet folds cause permanent creases. Dampness ruins fabric and causes mildew.
- Pole care is also related to flag care.Rust and scale cause permanent stains and some metallic oxides actually eat holes in fabric.