How to Store The American Flag

Jon Fesmire | July 3, 2017 @ 9:30 AM

If you like to show your patriotism on major U.S. holidays like Independence Day or Memorial Day by flying the American flag, there are a few things you should know.

As Americans, we view the flag as a symbol of our country. It’s important that that symbol be treated with respect. As such, we have a set of rules called the Flag Code, which explains how to show proper respect for the flag. The major rules include the following:

  • Do not use the flag as drapery or for decoration other than flying it on a flagpole.

  • Do not use the flag for advertising a business.

  • Do not use the flag as part of a sports team uniform or costume.

  • Do not let the flag touch the ground.

  • Never attach objects to the flag, including letters, words, or insignias.

  • Never use the flag to wrap or carry objects.

The question remains, then, how do you store an American flag?

Preparing The Flag for Storage

You have probably seen military personnel lower the flag from a flagpole and fold it over and over until it forms a tight triangle. This is the preferred method for folding a flag, but only if you fly it regularly. A flag folded with this method and stored will quickly develop unwanted creases.

Instead, roll the flag into a tube shape. To avoid having to do so on the floor, a table, or a bed, take it down from your flagpole with a partner. Have one person at one short end, and the other person at the other end. One of you can then roll it toward the other.

Purchase an acid-free art storage tube, as the acid in some cardboard products can damage a flag over time, and slide it inside. Naturally, make sure the tube is longer than the flag is tall before buying it.

Storing The Flag

You can always store your flag in a closet at home, but, if you need a storage unit anyway, consider keeping it there. Just make sure that you have a unit with climate control.

Humidity can cause serious damage to the cloth the American flag is made of, providing a breeding ground for mold and mildew. Climate control, which will add about 25% to the rental cost of your unit, keeps the temperature and humidity at safe levels not only for your flag, but for your other belongings as well, from clothing to paperwork to musical instruments.

Storing the flag doesn’t have to be a mysterious process. The above instructions will allow you to keep yours in great shape for many years and holidays.

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