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You want to make certain that the flag you purchase and fly is of quality material, but which flag material is better: cotton, nylon, or polyester? While cotton looks beautiful, it isn’t usually a top choice for the outdoors; on the other hand, polyester may not flap in the wind as willingly as cotton, but it’s much stronger and bound to last longer. As you decide what flag to purchase, make certain you get the best material for its purpose.


While cotton flags offer a wonderfully classic look, they cannot withstand the elements and, therefore, are not recommended for long-term outdoor use. This is because the material is not durable—the flag will fade and quickly become misshapen.

Should you buy a cotton flag, it’s suggested it be for indoor use. When kept inside, it makes a beautiful display, as it won’t lose its vibrancy under the beating sun nor will it have to withstand the elements.


These flags are shiny, flap in the wind with ease, and if properly treated, nylon withstands ultraviolet radiation released from the sun—thus preventing the color from fading. Additionally, if you live in an area that receives a lot of rain, this lightweight fabric is ideal, as it dries quickly and won’t get damaged.

However, with its many advantages come a few disadvantages. Nylon flags often fray over time, and while being more robust than cotton, are not as resilient as polyester. As you search for your US State flag to show off your state pride, consider shopping at Federal Flags, as our nylon flags are SolarMax Nylon; a material that won’t fade with outdoor use!


As far as durability goes, polyester flags are typically the number one choice, as it is a heavier material. Furthermore, when reinforced with proper stitch work, fraying is prevented. As it can also withstand different weather conditions, it is more desirable than both nylon and cotton.

Despite this advantage, polyester flags lack the shine of a nylon flag and won’t move as freely in the wind as nylon or cotton flags do because the material is heavier.

As you ask yourself which flag material is better—cotton, nylon, or polyester—remember the pros and cons of each material. Cotton flags are quick to fade, and certain weather conditions ruin them; however, both polyester and nylon can withstand these conditions. During your search, keep in mind Federal Flags offers a variety of options (both polyester and nylon) to ensure you get the best quality to show off your nationalism!