According to the U.S. Government expects a nylon flag to last approximately 90 days based on daily usage from sunrise to sunset – but not during periods of inclement weather. Tests have shown that in some cases a flag flown 24 hours a day will last only one-fourth as long as one flown during daylight hours only.
Honestly, I have read that statement so many times in my 20+ years in business. But what does it mean? Is this statement stating if you fly your flag 24/7 and in bad weather, your flag should only last 22.5 days?
Let me start by saying, we here at Custom Flag Company have higher expectations than 22 and a half days for the life of your flag. Let me also state, there are some unusual circumstances that a brand new flag may get tattered during extreme weather conditions.
I have some unfortunate news. There is not a magic number of how long a flag will last. Also, not all flags will have the same lifespan. You can buy two of the exact same flag and one flag may get 5 months wear, and the next may get 7 months wear.
There are different conditions that help determine how long a flag might last. And even then, it is hard to put a number on it.
Time of Year
The time of year seems like an interesting thing to determine your flag’s lifespan, but it really does matter. If the flag is flying during the winter, chances are, the flag will not last as long as if it is flying during the summer. The conditions in the Winter, especially in Colorado, are much more severe than the Summer. Just last month we had winds in the Foothills reach up to 115mph. That wind will shred a flag quickly, even if it is brand new. If you are able to bring your flag in on high wind days, you can prolong the life of your flag.
How much sun does your flag get? If your flag is constantly in the sun, the shorter life it will have. The UV breaks down the materials of the flag, causing the flag to fade. If your flag gets more sun than it does wind, we would recommend a 200 denier nylon material. The nylon will hold its color longer than the polyester. But, the 2ply polyester holds up better against wind than the nylon.
Flying your flag 24/7
If you are planning on flying your flag 24/7, plan on replacing your flag more often than if you bring your flag in every night. Imagine 12+ hours of rest from wind, sleet, rain, and snow. This alone will keep your flag in better shape.
Bricks, Limbs, and Cables- OH MY!
Make sure your flag is not snagging or whipping on brick, tree limbs, or any overhead wires or cables. The flag will surely tatter and fray quicker if it has help.
As you read about these different conditions, you might be even more confused about how long a flag should last. We tell our customers to expect to buy 2-3 flags a year. In most cases, flags last anywhere between 90 and 190 days. Our flags are American made flags, FMAA Certified, that are made with the highest quality material and craftsmanship.
Regardless of how well it is constructed, a flag is, after all, only made of cloth and will sooner or later succumb to the elements.