Winter Preparation and Care for Flag and Flagpoles

Keeping your flag and flagpole in good shape during the winter starts with prevention. Preparing your flagpole, before it gets too cold, will make the job easier. Let’s look at some simple tips for winter preparation and care for flag and flagpoles.

Let’s start with the flag. If you usually use a nylon fabric during the spring and summer months, you will want to switch to a sewn polyester blend for winter. While the nylon is more lightweight and can handle the summer breezes, it more than likely will not withstand the cold winds of winter. The sewn polyester blend is made with the same lock-stitching but are about twice the weight of its nylon counterpart.

If you live in an area with harsh winters, you may want to also consider flying a flag that is one size smaller than your spring/summer flag. This will greatly improve your chances of a lasting flag. So, if you fly a 4-foot x 6-foot nylon flag during the summer months, try flying a 3-foot x 5 foot sewn polyester flag through winter. You will be going from a 24 foot of square sail to 15 feet of square sail. The greater the surface area, the greater the resistance. Hence, the less the surface area, the less resistance. You will have a much smaller looking flag on the flagpole than you are used to, but it will be better than a ripped or shredded flag.

On to the flagpole parts…look at the truck , halyard and the swivel snap hooks (or flag clips). If any of these parts have become damaged or worn out, now is the time to replace them. Take special notice of the truck . The truck allows the entire flagpole to work. When changing your flag for winter, check the truck to make sure the pulley (or pulleys) is functioning properly. A failed truck can result in parts breaking down much quicker and the flag wrapping around the flagpole and fraying much sooner.

United States Flag Store is here to answer all your questions. Feel free to give us a toll-free call at 1-877-734-2458 or email us at

American Flag Care and Disposal

by Kristi Ries

People buy new American flags for various reasons: to honor a loved one, to show patriotism, in observance of a national holiday or to replace an older flag that has grown worn by years of use. Yet many Americans may not be aware of existing “flag protocol” – that is, how to properly dispose of a flag.

Because of its inherent symbolism, the U.S. flag carries special meaning and should be treated accordingly. Flags should never be defaced or be allowed to become tattered, faded or dirty. Once this occurs, the time has come to retire the flag in a respectful manner. The U.S. Flag Code states, “The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning”.

Many organizations, such as veterans associations, the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America, and other patriotic organizations are equipped to perform flag retirement ceremonies. Turning over your discarded flag to one of these groups ensures a fitting final tribute to your symbol of patriotism.

A few tips on flag selection and maintenance:

Many consumers seek out all-weather flags that are specifically created to withstand prolonged exposure to sunlight, wind and rain. This is recommended for those who wish to fly the flag outdoors, as in some areas pollution as well as inclement weather conditions will affect the fabric. If you live in an area of extreme weather (high winds) or plan to fly the flag daily, pay attention to the material used to construct the flag. These flags will often be more expensive than those created for indoor purposes or more infrequent display outside.

To help make your flag last longer in good condition, consider rotating flags every six months. This will cut down on any exposure to the elements and will guarantee that you always have a replacement flag on hand if one should become too damaged to display.