Tattered American Flag

Even the best-made, highest-quality U.S. flag will begin to deteriorate after months of snow, rain, sun, and wind exposure. While our customers experience expanded lifespan on their American flags due to the incredible quality of our products, that doesn’t mean they will last forever. If your flag is in poor condition, it may be time to order a new one.  

When you fly a dirty or torn American flag, you run the risk of unintentionally disrespecting all the brave men and women who fought for our freedoms along with everything else Old Glory represents. At AmericanFlags.com, we have the largest selection of American-made, high-quality outdoor American flags. Shop our extensive collection today! 

What is the U.S. Flag Code? 

The U.S. Flag Code, established in 1923, provides essential guidelines for respectfully handling and displaying the American flag. It gives clear instructions for both civilians and government agencies to provide the flag of the United States the honor it’s due. It states that when an American flag is no longer a fitting emblem for display — often due to factors like fading, tearing, or soiling — it should be retired in a dignified manner, preferably by burning. If you're unsure how to dispose of a tattered flag, organizations like our partners, Carrot-Top Industries, can assist you in its proper disposal. We recommend replacing your flag when it shows signs of wear and tear to ensure it remains a fitting symbol of our nation's ideals and values. 

Is it OK to Fly a Tattered American Flag? 

Tattered American Flag Tattered American Flag

Flying a tattered American flag is disrespectful to our country and the brave men and women who fight to keep it safe. It is also a violation of the U.S. Flag Code to hoist a grungy American flag atop a flagpole. Here are four signs that let you know it’s time to replace your USA flag. 


Wind, sun exposure, and rain can cause the flag to tear. 


One of the first signs a flag is in need of replacing is fraying along the ends and seams. 


Prolonged sun exposure will cause your stars and stripes to lose their vibrant color and become dull and faded. If you’ve noticed that your stripes are turning orange and your field is light blue, your flag may be due for replacing.   


Dirt, dust, and other materials can cause staining on the flag, making it look dirty and old. 

How Long Does a Flag Typically Last? 

The lifespan of your flag is dependent on several factors, including the quality of the flag, where it is flown, and whether you are following proper flag care tips. A flag flown daily will have a shorter lifespan than one that is only raised during holidays and special occasions. Typically, the average lifespan for a flag is around 90 days, but AmericanFlags.com customers can get up to six months to a year or longer out of our meticulously crafted flags. High-quality flags made in the USA last longer than their imported counterparts, so it’s important to look for the FMAA seal. 

If you’re searching for a commercial-grade flag built to withstand even the harshest weather, be sure to check out our Tough-Tex® American Flags. Each one is crafted from 100% two-ply, spun polyester for unbeatable protection against the elements. They feature exquisite lock stitching, reinforced fly ends, sewn stripes, open weave construction, and rust-resistant grommets. With several size options, they make the perfect addition to any office, school, or warehouse. 

Other Frequently Asked Questions 

How can I increase the lifespan of my flag? 

You can increase the lifespan of your flag by washing it when you notice it is dirty and making repairs at the first signs of damage. When not in use, folding your flag properly will keep it clean and help guard against damage. Check out our resource guides to learn more about proper flag care.  

Is it illegal to fly a tattered American flag? 

While there is no penalty for flying a tattered American flag, many veterans take the U.S. Flag Code very seriously. Keeping your flag in pristine condition is the best way to avoid disrespecting our brave veterans and active-duty servicemen. 

What should I do if my American flag is tattered? 

You can attempt to repair your American flag if it is ripped, but if it is in otherwise poor condition, we recommend burning it or disposing of it in another acceptable manner. 

Replace Your Tattered American Flag with Our High-Quality Products 

At AmericanFlags.com, we are proud to provide our customers with a wide range of high-quality products so you can display your pride in America! 

Tough-Tex® American Flags 

Investing in a better quality U.S. Flag will save you money in the long run and help you avoid the embarrassment of flying a faded or tattered American flag. Annin’s Tough Tex® American Flags are specially designed to resist the elements and feature exclusive 100% two-ply spun, woven polyester that is resistant to high winds, sun, rain, and snow. Additionally, these premium American flags feature the brightest fade-resistant colors available. Every Tough Tex® American flag is double inspected and certified to meet all U.S. government and military specifications and are the same flags flown by all branches of the U.S. military, including the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard. 

Outdoor Beacon® Nylon American Flags 

AmericanFlags.com is proud to offer many sizes of All-American All-Weather Nylon U.S. flags. Each one is carefully treated to resist fading, tearing, and the shredding that is common in foreign-made American flags. Our own testing reveals our flags outlast other nylon alternatives by as much as 33%! They are perfect for daily display or for holidays like Memorial Day, Flag Day, and Independence Day. What makes our flags stand out? 

  • Premium 200-denier nylon sourced in the USA, not from China.
  • Our inks stay vibrant and bold, so your flag looks sharp.
  • Our nylon is specially treated to resist UV radiation.
  • There are four rows of lock stitching on the flag’s ends to resist wind shredding.
  • Double-row stitching on the top and bottom of each flag.
  • Heavy-duty rust-proof brass grommets.
  • Industrial-strength canvas headers are virtually indestructible.
  • Embroidered stars, sewn stripes, with color-matched stitching.
  • Lightweight material flies proudly in the lightest breeze and dries quickly.
  • All flags and their components are proudly made in the United States of America! 

To find out more about purchasing your own high-quality flag from AmericanFlags.com, fill out our Contact Form to speak with a Flag Pro today!