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A Flags Life
This is entirely dependent on the climatic conditions and hours of flying. We would advise that since most flags are either an act of courtesy (national flags) or advertising (company logos) it is best to have them in top condition by changing them regularly. Flags are an inexpensive and highly visible means to advertise your company.
A flag that is flown constantly (24hrs / day) cannot last as long as a flag flown from dawn to dusk. It must be recognized that the flying time of a constantly flying flag is more than doubled; this it’s life is considerably reduced.
Constantly flown Flags can be expected to last between 6 & 9 months, however if looked after they have been known to last 2 years. They have also lasted less than 3 months on occasions, having been damaged by severe conditions, or by hitting against a roof or wall during flying.
Event flags such as the Teardrop & Blade 2 Go are generally only used periodically and can therefore be expected to have a far longer life than constantly flown flags – if maintained correctly!
Wind and rain
In winds exceeding 40kmh flags should be taken down. Remember that if it is windy at ground level it is much worse at the top of the flagstaff. Heavy rain will increase the weight of the flag which will cause unnecessary wear, especially in high winds.
We use the Dye-sublimation (link to dye sub page) process for many of our flags which means the dyes are “baked” into the flag’s fabric meaning the colours last a lot longer than flags printed using other methods.
The dyes used in our manufacturing process are all tested for UV stability however things such as pollution, salt and direct sunlight can have adverse effects on colour vibrancy over time.
Damage to flags is often caused by objects that the flag beats against in the wind or by old style wooden flagstaff's which do not have a smooth finish. To reduce the risk of damage, ensure that the halyard is taut at all times, and that there is no risk of the flag snagging.
Washing and repair
Flags can be washed in a normal household washing machine set on a cold wash with normal mild detergents. Do not soak, dry clean or tumble dry and avoid the use of soda or bleaching alkali. Hang the flag or graphic to dry immediately after the wash - do not leave it rolled up. If necessary you can use a cool or warm iron to remove any creases.
If the flag starts fraying it can sometimes be trimmed back and re-hemmed.
We see the destructive power of weather, the sun, dirt and chemical pollution all around us - some locations more than others. And even if your flag is brought down and stored indoors every night, exposure to the elements will, over time, affect the condition and lifespan of your flag.
Suggested Maintenance Cycle
For a modest amount, you can ensure that your flags are kept in peak condition to do the job in hand!
- The Flag can be dry cleaned.
- The Flag can have minor repairs that can easily be done by the seamstress at the local dry cleaner.
- Rotation. Have two flags. When the one being displayed begins to have minor problems, replace it while it is being cleaned and/or repaired.
- Remove and Replace. Have a replacement on hand, so that when your flag has reached such a condition that it is no longer fit for display, it can be retired.
- For portrait flags ensure that the eyelets positioned down the hoist side of the flag are secured loosely to the flagpole (either with flag restraining loops or cable ties) this will ensure that the flag flies correctly without undue strain on flag or pole.
Flag Material... A flag suitable for extremely heavy winds and/or one that will be flown daily will be more expensive than a flag of similar size that would be fine for casual and infrequent display in a moderate climate zone. Our experienced staff can advise you on the correct replacement for your needs.
In Conclusion... If asked to bring, unfurl and present your organization’s flag at an important function, would you bring a flag that is dirty, tattered or faded? We know you wouldn't, but the point is that we often neglect the condition of our flags. We simply have to become more aware of the negative impression that a worn flag can create. Always ensure your organization is flying a serviceable flag. It does not have to be in perfect condition, but it certainly should be in good enough condition that the casual observer will not notice any minor holes, rips or advanced fading. We have to learn to take care of our flags because for the most part we are never taught about flag maintenance. Regular preventative measures are cheaper than constantly buying new ones and will keep your flag creating a great impression on the public - which of course is why you bought it in the first place.