Can an American Flag be repaired?

Repairing Old Glory

If there is one fact that all American flag flyers appreciate, it is that all flags sustain damage from being exposed to the elements. Of course, some flags take more damage than others. For instance, flags that fly in areas with more windy conditions are not likely to last as long as their counterparts in calmer weather. Conversely, flags made of more rugged materials such as polyester or nylon might last longer than those made from weaker fabrics.

Nonetheless, all flags will eventually sustain damage, and while it is appropriate to retire American flags that are damaged beyond repair, there are some loose guidelines that can be followed if flag owners want to have less dramatic damages repaired.


Flags in need

Just as different weather conditions will create varying degrees of damage, they will also create different types of damage. Ice and hail might cause holes or rips, whereas heavy winds may cause the ends of a flag to fray. Indications that a flag is in need of repair can include tears, holes, frayed ends, or tattered and worn stripes.


Rules for repair

Again, flag owners may not wish to immediately discard a flag that has sustained damage — a flag that carries great sentimental value would be one example of such a scenario. In the event that a flag must be salvaged, it is okay to trim off frayed ends or tattered sections and carefully sew a hem resembling the original hem. This process can be repeated as often as necessary until the flag becomes square. In other words, if the length of a stripe will not be longer than the blue star field, it is time to retire the flag.


In the shop

If you are having your flag professionally repaired, it may be a good idea to brush up on your American flag lingo. This video will provide you with a quick overview of American flag anatomy — a great resource for your encounter with a flag repair professional.




Photo call!

Send us your pictures of flag repairs, American flags, flagpoles, ropes, or other accessories! We would be honored to feature your photography in our blog or on Facebook. Remember, photos of damaged flags and accessories are valuable, too.


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Have a great day, from your friends at LIBERTY FLAGS, The American Wave®.


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2 comments

  • LIBERTY FLAGS, The American Wave®

    Hello Carol,

    Thank you for your inquiry.
    We’ve sent an email to you directly, but for others who may have the same question, the extent of the damage will determine whether the flag can be repaired.

    A great place to start would be with a local tailor. They will be able to determine if they believe a repair can be made.

    If the item is a period-piece or family heirloom, more research into options may be required. Here are two links that may help to begin that process.
    http://www.vexman.net/antique.htm
    https://jeffbridgman.com/

    We wish you the very best in your repair efforts.
    Thank you so much!
    Your friends at LIBERTY FLAGS, The American Wave®.

  • Carol Stickney

    My family has a 46 star flag that was vandalized a few years ago. It was slashed in the ground are of the flag. We would like to have it repaired. Do you do repairs or do you know someplace where we can have repairs made?
    Thanks so much for any help you can give us.
    Sincerely,
    Carol Stickney

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