Happy Flag Day! If you want to fly the stars and stripes, U.S. Flag Code states that the flag should not be displayed, used or stored in a way that permits it to be easily soiled. This can be difficult when flown outside. There is, however, no precise directions included for how to clean the flag if it does become soiled. We’re here to offer some flag cleaning guidance, whether washing the American flag or any other.
It may be possible to machine wash your flag; the fabric care label will tell you. First, pretreat stains with a bit of stain remover then put the flag in the washing machine with some laundry detergent and wash with cold water. If the flag is delicate, your safest bet will be to hand wash in cool water with a bit of mild detergent. Once washed, hang the flag to dry. Do not store a flag until it is fully dry. For storing, rolling is preferable to folding, then keep it somewhere out of direct sunlight. If your flag is vintage or very delicate, it may be best to have it dry cleaned.
Flags that are very worn or frayed should be replaced and the old flag should be disposed of in a dignified way. You may be able to find a local organization willing to accept and dispose of the flag appropriately.