When it comes to showing off some good ol’ American spirit, hanging a US flag is key. That patriotism translates to that beautiful red, white and blue hanging off the side of our front porches or even free standing in our yards.
No matter how you choose to display your American pride, once you’re all done with your flag, it’s important to store it properly to extend its life and preserve the quality of it.
Jeffrey L. Reynolds, Ph.D is the President/CEO of AmericanFlags.com and he shares some tips on how to do this effectively.
“It’s very important that Old Glory be stored, handled and displayed in a way that reflects respect and reverence for our national symbol,” says Reynolds.
Here are three simple steps to follow when storing your US flag.
Step #1- Clean It
Did you know that its important to clean your flag before you put it away? It makes sense that you should pay close attention to this, as your flag most likely has been in the elements for a few days or even weeks. If you’re like me, you’re going to want to make things as easy as possible. So, depending on the size of your flag, you can either wash it by hand with your favorite (delicate or light) laundry detergent– be sure to check any tags your flag may have as they may specify more on how to clean it based on its material– or you can take it to the cleaners.
Reynolds says to never place a flag in the washing machine as this can compromise the flag or cause irreversible damage. He also recommends you allow your flag to air dry and make sure it’s completely dry before you put it away. Never fold or roll-up a wet or damp flag.
Step #2 Fold It Right
A lot of us have seen the typical triangular fold of a flag. It’s not only pretty but also very effective. If you’d like to achieve this fold, follow these simple steps:
- Fold the flag in half width-wise twice.
- Fold up a triangle, starting at the striped end and repeat until only the end of the union is exposed.
- Fold down the square into a triangle and tuck inside the folds.
Another option is to fold or roll your flag as you would do a sheet or towel.
Step #3 Pack It Up!
We’re in the home stretch. Once you’ve made sure your flag is clean, dry and folded properly, choose your preferred storage container. Use an under the bed plastic box (or other preferred size) with a lid. These boxes tend to be easy to store and keep dust out. They are not very expensive and when the time comes, you can use them for something else if you decide this isn’t the place for your flag.
If you chose the triangle fold, Reynolds recommends purchasing a storage bag tailor-made for your flag. This option zips up easily and may take up less space than a box or other plastic container.
No matter how you choose to properly store a US flag, if you follow these simple steps, you’ll be able to preserve your flag and show it off with pride for years to come.