American Flags Blog

How to Store Your American Flag When Not in Use

Store Your American Flag

Properly storing your American flag when it’s not in use is essential to maintaining its condition and longevity. Whether you’re taking it down for a season or just for a short period, storing your flag correctly will ensure it remains in good shape and ready to be displayed with pride. At Veterans Flag Depot, we want to help you keep your flag looking its best. Here are some tips and best practices for storing your American flag.

1. Clean Your Flag Before Storing

Before storing your flag, make sure it is clean and dry to prevent mold, mildew, and stains.

  • Hand Washing: For lightly soiled flags, hand wash with a mild detergent and cold water. Rinse thoroughly and lay flat to dry.
  • Machine Washing: Some flags are machine washable. Use a gentle cycle with cold water and mild detergent. Place the flag in a mesh laundry bag to protect it. Air dry by laying it flat or hanging it up.
  • Spot Cleaning: For small stains, use a soft cloth with mild soap and water. Gently dab the stained area and rinse with clean water. Let it dry completely before storing.

2. Fold the Flag Properly

Proper folding helps prevent wrinkles and creases, maintaining the flag’s appearance.

  • Traditional Triangular Fold:
    1. Start by holding the flag horizontally with another person, ensuring it remains taut.
    2. Fold the flag lengthwise in half twice, keeping the blue field on the outside.
    3. Starting at the striped end, make a triangular fold by bringing the striped corner up to the open edge.
    4. Continue folding the flag in triangles until you reach the end.
    5. Tuck the remaining edge into the folds to secure it.

3. Choose the Right Storage Location

Select a storage location that protects the flag from environmental factors.

  • Cool and Dry: Store the flag in a cool, dry place to prevent moisture damage. Avoid damp basements or attics where temperature and humidity can fluctuate.
  • Away from Sunlight: Keep the flag out of direct sunlight to prevent fading and deterioration.
  • Avoid High Temperatures: High temperatures can damage the fabric and cause colors to fade.

4. Use Proper Storage Containers

Storing the flag in appropriate containers provides added protection.

  • Storage Bags: Use a breathable storage bag, such as a cotton or muslin bag, to protect the flag from dust and pests. Avoid plastic bags, which can trap moisture and cause mildew.
  • Storage Boxes: A sturdy cardboard box can also be used for storage. Line the box with acid-free tissue paper to prevent the flag from coming into contact with potentially damaging materials.

5. Avoid Heavy Weights

Do not place heavy objects on top of the stored flag.

  • Flat Storage: If possible, store the flag flat to prevent creasing. Ensure it is not compressed by other items.
  • Separate Storage: Store the flag separately from other items to avoid accidental damage.

6. Regular Inspection

Periodically check on the stored flag to ensure it remains in good condition.

  • Inspect for Damage: Look for signs of damage such as mildew, insect activity, or fabric deterioration.
  • Air Out the Flag: Occasionally air out the flag by taking it out of storage and allowing it to breathe in a clean, dry environment.


Store Your American Flag

Storing your American flag properly when it’s not in use is crucial to maintaining its condition and ensuring it can be displayed with pride for years to come. By following these steps—cleaning, folding, choosing the right storage location, using appropriate containers, avoiding heavy weights, and conducting regular inspections—you can protect your flag from damage and preserve its appearance.

At Veterans Flag Depot, we are committed to providing high-quality flags and the information you need to care for them. Follow these guidelines to keep your flag in pristine condition, ready to honor the nation whenever it’s flown.

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