Snow, freezing rain, sleet, winds, hail, and whatnot; winter can be especially taxing on your flag. The harsh winter will definitely not be an ally to your flag, so what should you do with it? Should you leave it as it is, bring it inside and retire it for the season, and then buy a new one for spring?
But is it possible to fly your flag out in the blistering cold as well? Of course!
How To Fly Your American Flag In Winter
Maintaining your American flag during the winter months is crucial to ensure its longevity and continued display of patriotism. With a few specific tips, you too can fly your flag freely in the cold winter winds and still have it look good when spring arrives.
Here are the 4 best steps you can take to fly and protect your flag in winter!
1: Opt for Polyester Double Ply Fabric Instead of Standard Nylon
Winter can be especially tough on a flag display. Not only will the constant thawing and freezing weaken flagpole parts; it will also adversely affect the fabric of the actual flag. While the standard nylon fabric used in flags traditionally tends to flow great in the summer breeze, it won’t perform just as well in the harsh winter winds.
Invest in a flag made from durable materials like nylon or polyester, which are more resilient to winter conditions than cotton. A two-ply polyester fabric will be much better suited to the wear and tear of the winter weather. While made with similar lock-stitching, it is about twice the bulk of nylon which makes it sturdier.
2: Fly the Flag One Size Lower
If the two-ply polyester fabric flag is still not sturdy enough to resist winter damage, you can always fly the flag one size lower. Sometimes the winter can be especially tough on the frail winter flag, causing it to break down earlier. In such cases, the foolproof option is to fly the flag a size lower for a longer lasting flag display throughout the winter weather.
An oversized flag can catch more wind and put additional stress on the flag and the pole. During severe winter weather conditions, such as heavy snow, ice, or strong winds, it's a good idea to take your flag down altogether temporarily to prevent damage.
3: Pay Special Attention to the Flagpole Parts As Well
Flagpoles are possibly the most neglected parts of hoisting the flag. Most flag flyers just replace broken flagpole parts with something they found in their toolkits or from a local hardware store.
Managing a flagpole with makeshift parts is akin to putting Band-Aid on a serious wound. You’ll have lots of problems to deal with later on. This could also be the reason why flag displays aren’t as long lasting as they should be.
All flagpole parts, whether they are nylon, aluminum, or stainless steel will ultimately succumb to natural elements. It is not a question of whether they should be replaced but when.
To avoid expensive repairs, make sure to regularly inspect your flagpole parts to ensure they’re in good working order. Check for rust, loose bolts, or any other issues that might cause problems in the winter. If you notice any signs of wear and tear, such as fraying or fading, you should consider replacing it.
4: Keep Your Flag and Flagpole Clean
Make more time to clean your flag and remove dirt, grime, and pollutants that can degrade the fabric. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for cleaning your specific flag material.
If you want to preserve your flags’ natural beauty during the colder months, then be sure to follow our expert flag flying care tips for winter. Remember that winter weather can be unpredictable, so use your judgment when deciding whether to keep your flag up during particularly harsh conditions.