Caring for your flag in winter is no breeze (pun intended). The weather conditions are rather unfavorable, to put it mildly. Sure, one can live in the everlasting Miami summer, but for most, wintertime equals cold, rain, snow, and wet or frozen flags.
Therefore, here are a few things you could do to protect your flag as much as possible in harsh winter months.
Cut the Usage in Half
One of the easiest ways to prolong the good state of the flag and the flagpole too is to diminish the flag’s usage by 50% or more. In other words, it’s advisable to take the US flag down during the night. If you haven’t been doing this already, then wintertime is the perfect time to start. That way, you will be exposing it to the elements much less. The daytime is shorter in winter as well, so you’re definitely saving it from deterioration.
Caring for your flag in winter also implies folding it in the proper way every single time you hoist it down.
Choose the Right Flag Material
Chances are your flag is already made of polyester or nylon since these two are the most common flag materials. That would be an excellent choice since their durability is much longer compared to silk or cotton flags. They are definitely best suited for harsh weather conditions too.
Downsize If Needed
The rule of the thumb says that the ideal flag-to-pole ratio is 1:4. However, when you live in an area where guests and snowstorms are nothing out of the ordinary in December and January, it’s a good idea to go for one size smaller and buy a new flag. Not only will the flag endure less damage, but the flagpole as well.
Namely, the bigger the flag, the greater the force against the pole during violent storms and their damage.
Take Care of the Flagpole
It’s not just the flag that needs protection. Try to maintain the flagpole in perfect condition despite the fact there won’t be any flag on it during the night.
Clean the flagpole by hoisting a wet cloth up and down to remove the debris. You should wrap the cloth around the pole and then attach it to the halyard. The cloth should be soaked first in gentle soap and warm water (provided the temperatures aren’t way below zero). Click here for more tips about how to keep your flagpole maintained.
A word of caution, though. If your flagpole happens to be anodized, you need to be extra careful. Any harsh detergents may damage the aluminum surface. When in doubt, use some liquid to test a small area of the flagpole.
In addition, systematic inspection of the flagpole for rust or signs of wear should be done all year long.
Take Care of the Halyard Rope
To maximize the flag’s longevity, be wary with the halyard rope. If it’s frayed, replace it with a new one. A regular checkup of all flagpole parts is definitely an excellent way to prepare for the winter months.
To sum up, taking steps about making sure your flag (and flagpole) are in their best shape this winter starts earlier than you may have expected. Wintertime is perhaps a bit more demanding, especially with changeable weather, but the above pieces of advice should help you maintain your flag in the best shape possible.
Products to check out!
/rubber-coated-brass-snaphook (to not be so loud with winter winds)