Monday, July 8, 2013

So, summer has arrived. Bombs have burst in air, streets have been paved with the sweet smell of BBQ, and lamp posts are lined with American Flags. There are a few tips the FlagRunners think you might want to know.

First of all, we just like people who fly flags. So whether you fly a flag for only one day a year, (the Fourth of July, and there are a lot of those of you out there), or you fly it all year round, only to take it down during natural disasters, these tips will help you get the most out of your flag.

We are past the big-time holiday, but the grilling doesn't stop until the temperature drops. The best time to be a flag flyer is when people are outside. And people are outside when the weather is right. Put a smile of on the company building, the front porch or the community field house.

Use these easy tips and then tell us your flag story.

  • Buy flags Made in USA.
    • If the flag is made int he USA, you know it is made to a standard proposed by the US government. Not only are you supporting local business, but you can be sure the flag is qualified to be on your flagpole. What does it say about a company that imports the American flag? While a vacuum cleaner might benefit from German Engineering, the flag has standards which are set here, in America. Flag Flyers know flying a flag is about authenticity. 
  • Take advantage of the sun and use a vibrant nylon material
    • Nylon is the summer fabric. We use 200 denier which has a rugged density. The best part about nylon is the weight. A nylon flag is roughly half the weight of its counterpart, polyester. During summer, harsh frozen wind is reduced to a cool breeze. This is not the case in all regions of America. But in general, the light-weight Nylon look great on a flagpole. The added benefit of nylon is its luster. The material has a reflective sparkling quality when in contact with sunlight. There is not a more sunny time, than in summer. For these reasons, we recommend Nylon American flags for summer.
  • The perfect summer flag for the fair-weather flag flyer VS. the hardcore flag flyer?
    • For the fair-weather flyer you need a flag that can survive a few days a year. These days are typically nice-weather-days. So the best flag for you makes a statement. If you are flying a flag off the porch, a light-weight printed nylon American flag or a nylon chain-stitched American flag is the way to go. You may have to replace that flag every 3 - 5 years, but for the price, you are getting a great deal. For the hardcore flag flyer you need something more durable yet just as sparkling. A fully sewn lock-stitched nylon American flag (we call it the standard) will do nicely. For those flag flyers in high wind locations, we have a nylon reinforced American flag option. This costs a bit extra but can greatly extend the life of your flag. Let's break it down:
      • Printed Nylon American Flags:
        • These American flags are a continuous printed image onto the fabric. The goods are UV ray treated, so you have protection against fading. The best size we'd recommend is 3 ft. by 5 ft or 3' x 5'. It is a nice addition to any porch. If you have a flagpole in the yard, we recommend a stronger option.
      • Fully Sewn Chain-Stitch Nylon American Flags:
        • These flags are sewn together on piece at a time. Red goods, white goods, blue goods and threading to make embroidered stars are all stitched together. On the flagpole, these flags have a much stronger appearance than the printed alternative (above). You'll also get UV protection from these American flags. Keep in mind, these flags are sewn with a chain stitch. This type of stitching is one continuous thread. On one hand, we can make these flags about twice as fast (so they are much cheaper). On the other hand, if one point in the threading breaks, the whole stripe can unravel. If you are flying for a few days or a few months in low wind, this is a great option for you.
      • Fully Sewn Lock-Stitch Nylon American Flags:
        • We call this flag "The Standard" because it is the one flag that flies off the shelve, customer proven for years. That is why you will find this flag at your local Bank, Business, Police Station, Courthouse and pretty much wherever you find a flag. The Standard is fully assembled one color at a time with embroidered stars (just as the chain-stitched above), but these flags have a lock stitch. This means if a thread breaks, the flag will not unravel because each stitch is knotted. This American flag is the 6-10 month flying machine. Some flag flyers to the flag down periodically in heavy winds and get even more life out of it (check you flag weather!).
      • Reinforced Fully Sewn Lock-Stitch Nylon American Flags:
        • For those flag flyers who have tried "The Standard" and the life of the flag has fallen short, many will recommend a polyester material. we believe the polyester is perfect for winter weather, but is a bit too heavy for the summer. One of the best parts of being a flag flyer is watching the flag fly! So if the flags is failing after 3 months, you've invested in new parts, you know the system is good, try the reinforced flag. The reinforced stitching goes a long way to equalizing stress throughout flag and providing additional stop points for when the flag frays. You might pay a bit more, but your flag will last longer and that is always the best value.
  • If you fly more than one flag, separate the flags by about 6 inches.
    •  The majority of flag flyers out there fly only one flag. But there are those who use the full potential of the flagpole and fly multiple flags: state flags, military flags, historical flags, custom flags, International flags, we could go on and on. (By the way... Try the Flag Finder!) There are so many great flags out there, why not fly more than one flag at a time? So if you are one of those flag flyers that has 2 or even 3 flags on the flagpole, make sure you separate the flags by about 6 inches. This will protect the flags by not creating bad updrafts or downdrafts. This can cause unnecessary stress on the flags or one of the flags to fall limp while the other flies great.
  • Keep one in the closet.
    • Finally, we always tell flag flyers to keep one in the closet. Storms can come up at any time. You could be out of town when it happens. Having an extra flag makes sense because you can easily replace the flag with no downtime and you will save money by not having to pay shipping twice. For those hardcore flag flyers, throw in a few extra parts you know you always need every few years (swivel snap hooks, covers, rope/halyard or cable, internal parts, etc.)
If you found these tips helpful, let us know and leave a comment!