We are frequently asked how long does a flag last? It's impossible to say but mainly depends on how it's cared for.
In the UK there are two types of fabric purposely made for flag usage.
1. Woven Polyester approved by our Ministry of Defence and used by the Royal Navy.
2. Knitted Polyester mainly for the mass-produced printed flags.
Woven or sometimes called spun Polyester is unquestionably the most durable material of its type in the world. Purposely designed and manufactured allowing the wind to pass through as well as along the fabric.
The theory is, if it's good enough for the British Admiralty its good enough for anyone.
Major factors of premature flag wear are geographical location such as coastal regions, moor land and mountainous districts exposed to persistent wind and rain or urban areas where the fabric might be affected by dirt and industrial pollution.
Surprisingly, many people believe they can hoist a flag aloft and leave it there indefinitely 24/7 even during strong or gale force winds still expecting it to last several years.
Night-time is the worst period because of the cold, damp, atmosphere with the flag becoming soaked and wrapped around a dirty pole. Unless floodlit it cannot be seen during the hours of darkness anyway!
The correct procedure is to hoist at dawn and lower at dusk and never, ever, in severe climatic conditions so it all depends on YOU!!.
In simple terms a flag left aloft for three months represents approximately 2,184 'flying hours'. Six months - 4,368 hours and twelve months 8,760 hours 'flying' time.
Be fair, how long would you expect it to last in such circumstances?
Only YOU can prevent premature flag failure.
Newton Newton flags are made to the highest quality standards of materials and workmanship in the industry. However one important factor we cannot control is the way the flags are treated by customers!
Premature flag failure can, in a majority of cases, be prevented.
NO EXCUSE FOR NEGLECTED FRAYS
Give your flag the attention it deserves. Watch the corners on the 'fly' end of your flag. This is normally the first area to show signs of wear and tear. Trim off the worn hem and re-hem the end. Its perfectly proper and when done promptly can greatly extend the life of your flag. Anti-fray netting can be added at the time of order to all flags at an additional cost to help prolong the life of a flag.
Newton Newton repair all their own flags only, free of charge providing the flag hasn't frayed more than 2" at the fly end and return carriage or postage is paid.
HIGH WINDS RUIN FLAGS
When your flag has to take the lashing punishment of high winds, something 'has to give'. Use common sense. You can tell when the wind is working your flag too hard.
Remember. Wind velocity at the top of your flagpole is usually much greater than at ground level.
RAIN IS TOUGH ON FLAGS
The combination of wind and rain can literally beat some of the dye out of flag fabrics and cause colour migration. This condition can occur even to the finest quality dyes and materials. If your flag suffers colour damage due to storm exposure, prompt washing in a mild detergent will usually remove the discolouration. The added weight of moisture in the fabric causes the flag to snap harder and wear out sooner. Be practical... don't fly your flag in the rain.
DON'T FLY A DIRTY FLAG
Keep your flags clean. A little investment in cleanliness pays big dividends in flag life. Dirt is sharp. It cuts fabrics, it dulls colours, and it causes wear. Most outdoor flags can be washed using a mild detergent on a 30 - 40 degree cycle in a domestic washing machine.
Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you EVER attempt to have flags dry cleaned!
STORING WET FLAGS
The emergency of getting your flag out the rain is no reason to store it wet! Dry it as you would wearing apparel. Hang it neatly and evenly. Wet folds turn into nasty permanent creases. Dampness ruins fabrics and causes mildew.
FLAGS SUFFER FROM AIR POLLUTION TOO!
Dirt, smoke and dust cause premature wear of flag materials and make the flags loose their brightness and lustre. Concentrations of smog, exhaust fumes and many industrial gases actually destroy flag materials. The fibres of the cloth and sewing threads are rotted and flags can literally fall apart. Don't blame it on the flags ... only we can do something about these conditions.
CONTACT WITH PETROL / OIL
Petroleum products are injurious to flag fabrics. Flags for boats are particularly subject to this hazard. Keep your flags away from motor and fuel tanks and out of water fouled with diesel and oil. Do not handle your flag with greasy hands.
POLE PAINT AND METALLIC OXIDES
Pole care is related to flag care. Rusty, pock marked poles chafe and tear flag fabrics and stitching. Rust and scale cause permanent stains. Some metallic oxides (rust) actually eat holes in fabric. Keep your flag pole in good condition.
BEWARE! CHEMICALS HURT FLAGS
Storing flags in unventilated areas is courting trouble. Cleaning compounds, waxing, maintenance and janitorial chemicals are 'death' to flag fabrics. Even super-strong nylon stitching is damaged by those super-strong chemicals. Why run the risk?
Give your flags lots of fresh air.
INDOOR AND PARADE FLAGS NEED CARE TOO!
Damage to indoor flags is mainly a result of gross neglect such as failure to have soiled flags properly and frequently cleaned, exposure to gas fumes and soot from inefficient heating systems, heavy humid stale air due to lack of ventilation, prolonged exposure to direct sunlight, abusive handling etc.
In addition, parade flags can be damaged by improper storage, rolling and storing when wet, damp and dirty.
Unnecessary exposure to inclement weather and thoughtless handling also take their toll.