Flag Basics and How to Store an American Flag

The American flag, flown outside of buildings and displayed inside of homes, offices and schools, is a symbol of our country. The red and white stripes symbolize the 13 original colonies and the 50 stars represent the 50 states. When handling an American flag, it is important to do so with the standards of respect as laid out in The Flag Code. In this post, you will learn how to display an American flag, how to retire an American flag and how to store an American flag.

How to Display an American Flag

When displaying an American Flag, there are a few guidelines and rules to keep in mind.

  1. Unless the flag is illuminated with a light during times of darkness, only display your flag from sunrise to sunset.
  2. Do not display the flag during rain, snow and wind storms unless it is an all-weather flag.
  3. Display the flag often, especially on any national or state holidays, special occasions or election days.

How to Retire an American Flag

According to The Flag Code, the American flag should never be thrown out. When a flag is worn to the point where it can longer can be flown as a symbol of our country, the flag should be destroyed. While a ceremonial flag burial is the preferred method for retiring a flag, a flag can also be destroyed through shredding. A flag made from polyester, nylon or any other artificial material should not be burned as those materials are hazardous for the environment. If you are hesitant about destroying the flag yourself, Veterans of Foreign Wars, the US Military and Boy and Girl Scouts of America offer the service for free.

How to Store an American Flag

A flag that is dirty or worn out is not suitable to be used to represent our country. Part of keeping a flag in good condition is storing it properly. Follow these tips to keep your flag in the best shape possible during storage:

  1. Cleaning the American Flag: Before storing an American flag, make sure it is clean. Take a low-pressure vacuum and gently remove any dust or dirt that may be on it. After cleaning, cover it with acid-free paper.
  2. Keep Your Flag Out of Sunlight: A flag stored long term in sunlight will fade. Store your flag in a dark and cool place. Do not store your flag in the basement. Basements are prone to growing mold and mildew which can ruin your flag.
  3. Store Your Flag Flat: When the flag is not being displayed, store it lying flat. Acid free rolls can be purchased to roll your flag inside, but do not store it in a paper roll. An old military tradition involves folding an American flag into a triangle. This is not a good way to store a flag long term, as it can result in permanent creases in your flag.
  4. Check Up on Your Flag: The best way to prevent irreversible damage is to check up on your flag while in storage. This way, if you notice that your flag has become damaged, you can quickly make changes to keep the flag from getting worse.

Do You Need Somewhere to Store Your American Flag and Seasonal Items?

If you do not have a cool dark place to store your American flag, consider a climate controlled storage unit. A climate controlled storage unit will keep your flag out of damaging UV rays and fluctuating temperatures. It’s also a great solution for storing outdoor furniture and other seasonal items when not in use. Do you have further questions regarding how to store your flag in a storage unit? Contact us today!