The Stars and Stripes have represented our nation since 1776, and it’s still a symbol of hope, freedom, and unity for millions across the country. But just like any other piece of clothing or item in your home, there comes a time when you have to replace your flag. Multiple factors contribute to how long you can go without a replacement. Here are a few clear signs that it’s time to replace your American flag.
A Faded Flag
Exposure to the elements means eventual fading, especially if your flag is flown in a location that experiences lots of direct sunlight. Once the colors have begun to fade, that is a sign that it’s time to replace your American flag.
A Torn Flag
If your American flag is torn and worn, it’s time to replace it. The flag should never be flown in a ripped condition, as doing so would violate the U.S. Flag Code. A torn or soiled flag should be lowered and properly disposed of.
Observe how much damage it has sustained to determine whether your American flag needs replacing or repair. If you believe your American flag is showing signs of wear but is not yet ready for replacement, you need to take extra care to bring it in during inclement weather.
Flags are meant to be flown and, therefore, will sustain damage and need to be replaced. While displaying your flag indoors may improve its longevity, It should never be used outside the flag code for things like bedding or tablecloths.
Maintain Your Flag
Maintenance is key! Learn how to properly clean and maintain your flag. Wash your flag regularly, following the manufactures directions. If stains cannot be removed, it is time to get a new one.
Time for a Replacement
If the American flag is no longer in a condition to fly with dignity and respect, then it is time for a new one. Old flags can be given to organizations like Boy Scouts of America, VFW Posts, or other patriotic societies that collect old flags for proper disposal.