How to Maintain Your Custom Flags
By Colton LaSota
Table of Contents
- How to properly install your custom flags
- How to properly care for your custom flags after installation
- Cleaning your custom flags
- Repairing a Ripped Custom Flag
- Storing your custom flags
Everything has its weaknesses. For Superman, he always had kryptonite. With custom flags, more often than not, it is the wind. But there are several other things to keep an eye out for to help maintain your custom flag. And this article’s aim is to go over all the things to best extend the life of your custom flags.
How to properly install your custom flags
This section is broken into four separate parts, one for every flag category. Every one of these custom flag categories abides by the same principles for maintenance but are installed in very different ways.
Standard 3’ x 5’ Custom Flags
When properly installed and maintained, these standard 3’ x 5’ custom flags have an estimated lifespan of 3 to 6 months. Your custom 3’ x 5’ flag comes with two metal grommets (top and bottom of left side) for easy hanging. You also have the option to add hanging clips to your order, simply select Yes, add hanging clips, under the hanging clips option tab. You can use these clips to easily attach your flag to its flagpole. The optimal installation setup (which will have it mounted on the side of a building) will include these materials: your custom 3’ x 5’ flag, 2 hanging clips, a 6’ aluminum pole, 2 rotating mounting rings, a 2-position metal bracket, 3 screws for the bracket, a ladder, and a drill. Most flag mounting kits come with all these items, excluding the ladder and drill.
To start, gather all the materials previously mentioned and hang your flag somewhere pointed downward. This is to straighten your flag out and get rid of any wrinkles it may have acquired during storage. To attach your custom flag to its pole, you will need to take both of your rotating mounting rings and attach one of your hanging clips to each hole. Then you can take your mounting rings and place them at the appropriate distance for your custom flag. Then take the flag and attach the hanging clips to both grommets. You can then take both mounting rings and pull them apart to tighten the flag.
Then you will need to finalize your decision on where to place your custom flag. The more natural cover from the wind, the better! Also, make sure that your flag has plenty of space, on both sides, to flap about in the wind without hitting anything. This will cause your flag to last much longer and will be much less likely to rip and tear. After you have decided on a location, you can take your drill, screws, and mounting bracket (and ladder if needed), to position your flagpole bracket as desired, and drill in the screws.
Then, all that is needed is to take your completed flagpole and place it in the bracket. And there you have it! A properly installed custom flag. Just make sure it gets the proper maintenance it needs such as during times of inclement weather.
When properly installed and maintained, our feather flags have an estimated lifespan of 3 to 6 months of continuous outdoor use. For this flag type, the optimal setup utilizes the Heavy-Duty Cross base, which can be used for both indoor and outdoor use. For this installation, materials you will need include: your custom polyester knit flag, the carbon composite flag rods, a bungee hook, the base connector, and the cross base itself. All these items can come included with your feather flag order.
Begin the installation of your flag by taking the cross-shaped base bars and lay them out perpendicularly (the bar that has the notch goes on the bottom). Then take your base connector and screw it into the cross-section of the bars. You can then start putting together the flag itself by taking the thin metal flag rods and inserting them in ascending order from smallest to largest. This will be the bendable spine that holds the flag upright. You can take your adjoined flag rods and carefully insert the smallest end first into the flag’s flag sleeve. Take extra caution when inserting the rods into the sleeve, as the polyester knit material can rip if inserted too violently. Make sure that, when the rod reaches the end of the sleeve, you insert the rubber tip into the protective cap at the end of the flag sleeve. This will help prevent the ripping of your flag. When you have your flag rods fully inserted, take the bungee hook, and connect it to the grommet located at the bottom of your razor flag. You can then take the flag rods and connect them to the stand.
Then take the bungee that is connected to the bottom of the flag and hook it to the bottom of the pole. Then you should have completed the flag section. All that is left is to take the flag portion and place it around the base connector. And there you have it, a completed Feather Flag ready for placement. Just be sure that wherever you place it, the flag will have some sort of cover from the wind and to bring it down when there is too much rain or wind.
When properly installed and maintained, our teardrop flags have an estimated lifespan of 3 to 6 months of continuous outdoor use. Since the teardrop and feather flag installation is so similar, we will now go over the spike base setup. This setup allows for your flag to be outdoors with its ability to be inserted into soft ground. Materials that will be needed include: your custom teardrop flag, a ball bungee, the metal spike base, and the metal flag rods. All these items can be included in your flag order.
Begin by putting the flag itself together by taking the thin metal flag rods and inserting them in ascending order from smallest to largest. This will be the bendable spine that holds the flag upright. You can take your adjoined flag rods and carefully insert the smallest end first into the flag’s flag sleeve. Take extra caution when inserting the rods into the sleeve, as the polyester knit material can rip if inserted too violently. Make sure that when the rod reaches the end of the sleeve, that you insert the rubber tip into the protective cap at the end of the flag sleeve. This will help prevent ripping of your flag. When you have your flag rods fully inserted, take the bungee hook and connect it to the grommet located at the bottom of your razor flag. Then take your metal stake and pound it in the location you want your flag to be. Now, all that is left is to take your flag and fit the adjoined flag rod around the spike base holder. And there you have it, a completed teardrop flag ready to wave down customers.
Rectangle flags are set up similarly to teardrop and feather flags but are very different as well. Rectangle flags look a lot like the teardrop and feather flags because they are stood up sideways. But rectangle flags don’t have the same bendable flag rods that were used for feather and teardrop flags. Rectangle flags get their namesake’s shape from the L-shaped rod that is inserted into the flag sleeve.
For this setup, we will just be going over how to assemble the flag itself. For this setup, all you will need is your polyester knit rectangle flag, the flag rods, and a ball bungee. All these items should be included with your rectangle flag order.
Begin by taking the flag rods, excluding the L-shaped one, and insert them into one another in ascending order from smallest to largest. Leave the adjoined flag rods to the side and grab your flag and L-shaped rod. Insert the L-shaped rod into the top sleeve of the flag with the top of the “L” first. Then take the little side of the L-shaped rod and insert it into the side sleeve perpendicularly to the top sleeve. Now you can take the longer, adjoined flag rods and insert them into the other side of the flag sleeve. Take both rods and connect them within the side flag sleeve. Now take the ball bungee and insert it into the grommet located at the bottom of the flag and thread the ball bungee around the hook located toward the base of the pole. You should now have a completed rectangle flag ready for placement.
How to properly care for your custom flags after installation
When it comes to your custom flag’s lifespan, the best way to further it is to take the necessary preparations to prevent rips or damage. For this section of the article, we will go over a lot more “don’ts” rather than “do’s”. That is because a lot of your flag’s maintenance comes from things to avoid.
First off, the best thing when expanding your flag's lifespan is to reduce violent wind flapping as much as possible. A little wind is what causes your flag to be eye-catching and visible, but too much will only end up damaging it. So, a healthy balance of flapping will be key.
The second-best way to expand your flag’s lifespan is to reduce any amount of time the flag spends wet. A flag will rip much easier when it is wet and high winds will damage any flag over time, but this will happen much faster if the flag is heavier and wet.
Cleaning your custom flags
Being that all our flags are heat cured, the ink is set into the fabric. This means that they are machine washable. But there are several things to watch out for before you throw them into the washer.
We recommend washing your custom flags on a light cycle with cold water. You can use detergent if you would like but make absolutely sure that the detergent does not use bleach. Bleach will ruin your flag if used. To further reduce any shredding or tearing, we recommend letting your flag air dry instead of throwing it into the dryer.
Repairing a Ripped Custom Flag
For this example, we will be repairing one of our standard 3’ x 5’ flags. The first thing to do is to determine if your flag either needs to be repaired or retired. When a flag is to be repaired, you need to have enough extra material on the edge of your flag for it to be folded and hemmed. So, take your flag and determine if you have enough extra material so that the hem will not ruin the flag’s design.
In order to repair the flag, a sewing machine will be required. If you do not have one, or you don’t have access to one. There should be a local sewing shop that can do this in your area. The materials needed for the repair include: a sewing machine with a darning stitch, a glue stick, heavy-duty fabric, coordinating thread, scissors, seam ripper, and some straight pins.
To begin, use the seam ripper to remove the seam at the top of the flag and enough of the side seam so you can lay the damaged fabric area flat. Then cut a piece of the heavy-duty fabric to cover the backside of the damaged area of the flag sleeve. This piece of fabric will be used to stabilize, allowing for the holes to be darned in the nylon fabric without shortening it.
Grab your glue stick and attach the backing stabilizer to the damaged area inside of the flag sleeve.
Now you may set up your sewing machine to darn according to your flag’s design. Begin darning from a distance from the damaged area to reinforce the thin fabric around the hole or rip. When darning the stitches, work in small overlapping sections and start at the end of the darning stitches on the stronger fabric area away from the thin damaged fabric. Once the first set of darning stitches have been done, lift the presser foot of the sewing machine and slip the next portion of cloth under the needle, lower the presser foot, and darn that area of fabric with the sewing machine. Repeat this step as needed until all the rips and holes in the flag have been machine mended. Then use the straight pins to fold the flag sleeve in half and pin it back into its original place on the flag and use a straight stitch on your sewing machine to sew the fabric into place.
Storing your custom flags
In times of turbulent weather or just during the off-season, how you store your custom flag will be integral to expanding its lifespan. Depending on how your custom flag is stored, you could have your flag for another couple months or another couple years. How you store your custom flag is not very complicated, but there are just a couple things you should absolutely avoid.
Never fold a wet flag, EVER! This may cause even more damage than to have just left it out. Folding your flag wet can lead to discoloration, increased tearing, or even mold if left for too long. If your flag was caught in a storm or you just finished washing it, make sure to leave it out to air dry before folding it for storage.
As you can see, there are many ways that you can extend the life of your custom flags with just a little more precautions and maintenance. By going with Banners.com, you are giving yourself much better chances to avoid rips and tears, but as you can tell, there are still many universal ways to get the most out of your custom flags for much longer.
Video Marketing Specialist
Colton was born and raised in the great state of Minnesota, just as a lot of the Banners.com employees hail from the northern state. From a very young age, Colton became incredibly interested in filmmaking. He wanted to be the driving force behind the stories that we all love and adore. He graduated from Alexandria Technical and Community College with a degree in business management. Colton’s interests include film, horseback riding, writing, video games, YouTube videos, digital marketing, MEMES, Broadway productions, and of course, signage!