How To Store American Flag

How To Store American Flag

How To Store American Flag

Preserving the Symbol of American Pride: A Comprehensive Guide to Properly Storing the American Flag

The American flag, an iconic embodiment of unity, freedom, and resilience, deserves to be treated with the utmost respect when not on display. Proper storage of the flag ensures its longevity and maintains its pristine appearance for future generations to admire. This comprehensive guide delves into the intricacies of storing the American flag, providing detailed instructions, helpful tips, and a comprehensive FAQ to address any questions that may arise.

1. Clean the Flag

Before storing the flag, it is crucial to ensure its cleanliness. Remove any dirt, stains, or debris that may have accumulated during display. Gently hand-wash the flag using cold water and a mild detergent or dishwashing liquid, avoiding harsh chemicals or bleach. Rinse thoroughly to remove all soap residue.

2. Dry the Flag

After washing, carefully lay the flag flat on a clean, absorbent towel. Do not wring or twist the flag, as this can damage the fibers. Allow the towel to soak up excess moisture, then hang the flag outdoors or in a well-ventilated area to air dry completely. Avoid using heat to dry the flag, as this can cause shrinking or fading.

3. Fold the Flag

Once the flag is completely dry, fold it properly according to the traditional triangular ceremonial fold. Hold the flag with the stars facing down and bring the top point to meet the bottom edge. Fold the triangles on either side towards the center, aligning their points with the bottom edge. Continue folding the flag into smaller triangles until it forms a compact triangle.

4. Store in a Protective Container

Choose a clean, acid-free storage container that is large enough to accommodate the folded flag without crushing or bending it. Acid-free tissue paper can be placed inside the container to absorb any moisture or odors. Store the container in a cool, dry, and dark place away from direct sunlight or heat sources.

5. Protect from Insects and Pests

To prevent insect or pest damage, it is advisable to place mothballs or cedar chips in a small cloth bag inside the storage container. However, avoid using excessive amounts or placing the chemicals directly on the flag, as they can cause discoloration or damage.

6. Regular Inspection

Periodically inspect the stored flag for any signs of deterioration or damage. If any damage is detected, the flag should be carefully repaired or replaced as necessary.


Can I store the American flag in a plastic bag?

No, plastic bags are not recommended for storing the American flag. Plastic releases harmful chemicals that can damage the fabric and cause deterioration.

What is the best temperature and humidity for storing the American flag?

The ideal temperature range for storing the flag is between 55°F and 70°F, with a relative humidity of 30-60%.

How often should I inspect the stored American flag?

It is recommended to inspect the stored flag every few months, especially if it is in a humid environment or has been exposed to extreme temperatures.

What should I do with a worn or damaged American flag?

Worn or damaged American flags should be properly disposed of by burning or recycling. Local VFW, Boy Scout troops, or American Legion posts often offer flag disposal services.

Can I store the American flag in my garage or attic?

Garages and attics are generally not ideal storage locations for the American flag due to fluctuating temperatures and humidity levels. If these are the only available storage options, ensure proper ventilation and use moisture-absorbing materials to protect the flag.

Additional Tips

  • Never store the flag in a damp or wet location, as moisture can cause mold and mildew damage.
  • Keep the storage container away from heavy items that could crush or damage the flag.
  • Consider using a display case to protect the flag from dust and fading while still allowing it to be seen and appreciated.
  • If you have multiple flags, store them separately in individual containers to prevent tangling and damage.


Storing the American flag properly is a testament to our respect for its significance and a commitment to preserving it for future generations. By following the guidelines outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your flag remains a cherished symbol of national pride for years to come. Remember, the proper storage of the American flag is not merely a task but an act of honor and patriotism.


  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, "Proper Care and Disposal of the U.S. Flag"
  • The American Legion, "Flag Etiquette: How to Properly Care for and Display the American Flag"
  • The VFW, "How to Properly Care for and Display the American Flag"

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