Frequent inspection and proper care of your flag and flag pole parts can make a huge difference in the life of your display. It is important to check your flag, flagpole, and its components year-round—especially as the seasons change. Be sure to examine your flagpole’s halyard rope for wear each time the flag is raised or lowered. If the flag isn’t lowered daily, check the halyard at each season change. If the weather is turning inclement, such as high winds, sleet or ice accumulation, be sure to lower your flag to protect it from extreme elements. Use the following tips to help you winterize and prolong the life of your flag and flagpole.
Step 1: Cleaning your Flag, Flagpole and Flagpole Parts
- Clean your flagpole at each change of season to remove built-up dirt, grime, or salt.
- Most aluminum flagpoles can be cleaned with mild soap and warm water. Simply attach a soapy sponge to the halyard, then clean the pole by raising and lowering the halyard with the sponge attached.
- Flagpoles with anodized finishes do not require cleaning. The anodized color serves as a protective coating and cleaning the surface can damage them and void the warranty.
- Use a flagpole cleaning kit or a mild bathroom cleaner and water to clean fiberglass flagpoles.
- Flags should not be dry-cleaned; spot clean with mild soap and water only. Remember that cotton flags are advised for indoor display or parade use only, as their colors can bleed and run when wet. Nylon and polyester materials are recommended for outdoor use.
Step 2: Replacing your Flagpole’s Components
Flagpoles that are subject to extreme weather, such as high winds, extreme humidity, or extreme cold, are at greater risk for damage and wear. Set a calendar reminder to check your flagpole’s components at each season change. Be sure to install flagpole repair parts before extreme weather sets in to ensure a functional and well-maintained display.
- Check your halyard rope: Cold weather can cause a halyard rope to degrade and dry-rot whereas salt air can cause a halyard rope’s fibers to appear “rotted out”. Wind, rain, and humidity can stress rope and cause it to fray while you are raising and lowering your flag. Replace your halyard rope at first signs of wear.
- Snaphooks and snaphook covers should be replaced whenever the halyard is replaced.
- Halyard can be replaced without a bucket truck; just tape the end of the new halyard to the old one and pull it up the flagpole and through the truck’s pulley.
- A little tape on the ends of your frayed halyard rope will help it pass through the truck’s pulley smoothly. Be sure not to overlap the two ends or use an excessive, bulky amount of tape; you want the rope to glide through the pulley easily.
Do you have broken or missing halyard rope? Give us a call at 800-628-3524, and a customer service expert can walk you through repair or replacement options.
Step 3: Replacing a Damaged Flag
- A flag that’s flown daily generally has a service life of about six months, depending on the weather in your area and the type of flag material. Refer to Carrot-Top’s Flag Etiquette Guide if you have any questions about proper flag handling.
- Replace your flag when it is frayed or fading; Carrot-Top’s Beacon® or Patriarch® flags are guaranteed for 6 months—the best warranty available.
- When the flag is replaced, check the snaphooks, truck, halyard, and caulking around the flash collar.
Getting in the habit of routine flag maintenance will greatly extend the life of your flag and save money down the road. As always, we’re here to answer any questions you might have about flags, flagpoles, flag pole repair parts, maintenance, flag etiquette, or anything else you would like to know about flags. Give us a call at 800-628-3524 today!
About the Author
Carrot-Top Staff Writer, Jenny Jolly, has been blogging and writing for businesses since 2008. A self-proclaimed "Army brat", Jolly grew up on military bases overseas before settling back in her family's home state of North Carolina. "Growing up a bi-cultural American has taught me to appreciate the diversity of our great nation. Having experienced other cultures firsthand has also given me valuable perspective on what it means to be American—to love your country, to value your rights and freedoms, and to fully embrace the ideal of the American Dream," she said. It is her honor to serve Carrot-Top Industries in the shared goal of providing American-made U.S. flags and patriotic, special event, and custom-made products to military institutions, service member families, government agencies, schools, businesses, and individuals across the United States.