5 min read

Why Consider Your Flag Material?

When you think of purchasing an American flag for your home or business, there are many things that you consider. But one of the most important things you should be keeping in mind is the material the flag is made out of. The flag fabric is a major factor in deciding the flag’s aesthetic value and durability.

There are multiple different flag materials that flags are made from, so it can sometimes be an overwhelming decision to make. The less popular fabric choice is cotton as this is more prone to tearing and it is not as weather resistant. Therefore, it comes down to the most popular fabrics - Nylon and Polyester.

The Difference Between Nylon and Polyester Flag Materials

When it comes to popular flag material, the most commonly used fabrics are nylon and 2-ply polyester. In terms of resilience stretch resistance, wrinkle resistance, shrink resistance, and easy care, both the materials have their own unique advantages and disadvantages.

Here in this article we will be comparing the pros and cons for both polyester and nylon flag materials, so that you can decide which one is most ideal for you.


Most of the flags these days are made out of nylon. Due to its versatility and other attributes, it’s a popular flag material choice. The Nylon flag material is also associated with vibrant colors and silky texture, making it more aesthetically pleasing.

Pros of a Nylon Flag

Nylon flags are lightweight, flexible and ideal for locations with high winds. Featuring a high-quality appearance, with a shiny finish that makes their colors more eye-catching. These are a perfect choice if you want your flag to stand out from the rest of the crowd.

What’s more, nylon flags are much easier to fly, even in the slightest breeze. Their premium fabric is also less prone to tearing compared to polyester flags.

1. Flexible Material: Nylon is one of the most flexible flag materials. Due to its incredible strength and elasticity, it is able to withstand high winds and is particularly great for coastal areas.

2. Easy Maintenance: They’re also really easy to care for and can be cleaned with mild detergent and water to remove dirt or stains. Regular maintenance is key for extending your flag’s lifespan.

3. Aesthetic Appearance: Nylon flags are typically made from a fine and shiny material. This is why they’re very bright and attractive in appearance. Their vibrant, rich colors are visually striking and make a lovely display.

4. UV Resistant: Designed for indoor and outdoor use, the nylon flag is a versatile material that can cope in a variety of settings. Some nylon flags are also specially treated for sun resistance and fast drying qualities. This protects the material from fading after prolonged exposure to the sun and ensures a longer lifespan outdoors.

5. Lightweight Fabric: Nylon is a comparably more lightweight material than 2-ply polyester. This means it can fly easily in even the lightest of winds, is easier to handle, and flies more gracefully. This is useful for areas which have variable wind conditions.

Cons of a Nylon Flag

1. Durability: Nylon is comparatively more lightweight than 2-ply polyester. Although it’s pretty versatile, it’s not as resilient as polyester. So you need to be mindful of the area you live in. If your area characteristically has fast, buffeting winds, a nylon flag may not last that long. It’s more suitable for outdoor use in light to medium winds.

2. More Costly: A Nylon flag is typically more expensive than a polyester flag but they are still relatively affordable, especially if you consider their visual appeal and versatility. Due to their shorter lifespan, their appearance may not last as long as a polyester one, therefore they are not as cost-effective as polyester.


Another popular flag material is 2-ply polyester. Overall, polyester flags are an excellent choice if you’re looking for something more practical and durable. In addition, polyester flags have a longer lifespan and are very good value for price. However, they also have their own set of unique pros and cons, which we are going to discuss below.

Pros of a Polyester Flag

1. High Durability: Polyester, especially 2-ply polyester is more suitable for outdoor usage since it’s more durable and robust than nylon. Because of this, polyester has a great outdoor lifespan.

2. Suitable For High Wings: It also has great wind resistance which makes it ideal for flag flying in extremely windy weather conditions.

3. Dry Faster: 2-ply polyester also has a better water wicking capability than nylon so it dries fast. This means that they are able to withstand heavy rain conditions, without deteriorating as quickly as other flag materials. Preventing fungi, mold and mildew from damaging the flag’s natural aesthetics.

4. Minimal Fading: Polyester can retain its color and luster for a longer time period as well. This is because most polyester flags are treated to be UV resistant which helps protect their appearance in prolonged exposure to the sun. So it stays looking like new for longer, compared to Nylon flags.

5. Tear Resistant: Polyester flags are less likely to tear than Nylon flags as they are designed with an open weave structure which helps to reduce friction.

6. Affordable: The polyester flag is more cost effective and suitable for a range of budgets. They are also available in multiple flag sizes so offer low cost alternatives for those looking to save money.

7. Wide Variety Of Sizes: The polyester material is melt-spun, which can be blended with natural fibers. This means that the fabric is more versatile and can be designed in various sizes. Therefore you have more options to choose from to suit your flagpole or display requirements. From small hand held flags to large banners.

Cons of a Polyester Flag

1. Less Vibrant Colors: 2-ply polyester flags are durable but they might not be as bright and shiny in appearance as a nylon flag. A polyester flag surface can be duller and rougher to the touch.

2. Heavier Than Nylon: Since polyester is heavier than nylon, it takes a considerably strong breeze to fly properly. They don’t respond as well in extremely light winds, so polyester flag flying displays do not look as effective as a Nylon flag, depending on their outdoor location.

3. More Suited For Outdoors: Nylon flags are more suited for indoor usage while 2-ply polyester flags are perfect for the outdoors.

4. Limited Drapability: Polyester fabric may not have the same natural drapability as some other materials like nylon. This means that polyester flags may appear stiffer and less flowing when hoisted, which can affect their aesthetic appeal.

So, which one is better? Nylon or Polyester?

Both nylon and polyester are great flag materials which provide a range of positive features. But depending on your specific needs, you will need to consider the best option for you. For a more durable, cost-effective flag material, you should definitely choose polyester. Or for something more bright, vibrant which you don’t mind replacing every so often, then Nylon is the best choice.

You should determine your ideal budget, location and intended use of your flag, as this will make it easier to decide the right flag material for your needs.

No matter what flag material you go for, displaying a flag at your home or business is a lovely way to show your patriotism and makes a lovely feature to any space.

Shop Your American Flag Today!

If you’re looking to buy high-quality American flags, we at Federal Flags offer a wide range for you to check out! From custom-printed flags to retractable banners, we have it all!

Contact us now for more details.

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