Why is my American flag damaged?

Three leading causes of damage to American flags

As a place where people can bring their worn flags to be honorably retired and disposed of, LIBERTY FLAGS, The American Wave® receives a hefty amount of damaged American flags. We also answer a lot of questions about how to prevent damage and prolong the life of American flags. Here are three of the most common causes of flag damage that we encounter.

#1 — Obstacles below the flag

In many cases, flag owners will bring their American flags to us, and only part of the flag — usually the fly end — will show signs of wear and tear. One possible reason for this is that part of the flag is making contact with an obstacle below the flag. This occurs when the flagpole height and the length of the flag are not properly coordinated, and the flag flies low enough to touch whatever is below it.

The most common culprit is bushes. As the flag snaps in the wind, it snags on the bushes, and eventually separates the stitching and the fabric.

#2 — Rooftop contact

In other cases, particularly where flags are mounted on the side of residences or buildings, the flag may come in contact with the roof of a home or business.

Again, this is a matter of coordinating the flagpole location and the size of the flag. If the flagpole is mounted close enough to the roof that the length of the flag will allow it to flap up onto the roof, it is very likely to experience this kind of wear and tear.

The same wind that allows the flag to ripple beautifully one moment may cause the flag to flip over onto the surface of the roof and snag on whatever shingles or other material exists there.

#3 — Building abrasion

Rounding out the top three causes of flag damage is building abrasion. This occurs in several mounting situations, including 45º angle mount, 90º mount, or flush mount of the American flag to the side of a residence or business.

Once more, we see a need to coordinate the flagpole location with the size of the flag. If the flag hangs close enough that it can make contact with the side of the building, then the wind will whip and snap the fly end of the flag against the brick, siding or facade of the home or building.

If the American flag hangs flat against the side of the building, it may be necessary to find a method of securing the fly end in order to reduce potential damage.

Flag anatomy

Not sure which part of your flag is susceptible to damage? Get started with this video overview of American flag anatomy.

Photo call!

Send us your pictures of 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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