Flags in a flood?

Discussion in 'Other US Flag Etiquette' started by CuriousinHou, Sep 4, 2017.

  1. CuriousinHou

    CuriousinHou New Member

    Hi all,

    I'm asking this question for a friend whose house was completely flooded during Harvey. She has a flag that was given to the family following the burial of a family member (I'm sorry, I'm not sure what the proper term is for those flags). The flag was completely submerged in floodwater during the storm. There's no physical damage to the flag, it was just soaked. Obviously this is a precious piece of family history. I'm wondering:
    1. Is it ok to unfold and wash the flag in a home washing machine (based on the fabric, of course)? Should I take it to a cleaner?
    2. I'd like to re-fold it properly. Where could I learn to do this, or is there someone I could ask to help?

    Thanks very much for your time.
  2. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    Good morning, "Curious In Houston"!

    FLAG CLEANING : Generally, most Flags should be washed by hand using a mild detergent, such as "Woolite", then laid out flat on dry towels to "air dry". This is ESPECIALLY true for those that are made of "natural" fiber fabrics such as cotton, linen, silk, or wool.

    "All Weather" fabrics (or as I refer to them, ALMOST all-weather fabrics), such as nylon or polyester, can be washed in a washing machine on the "gentle" or "delicates" cycle. Again, they should be laid out flat to air dry. I have, on occasion, put mine into the clothes dryer set on low or medium heat with one or two already DRY towels for 10 minutes or so. Then, I'll lay them out flat on dry towels OR draped over the back of a chair, door, or laundry line (outside) to finish drying.

    No matter what the Flag is made of it should be washed/cleaned ASAP (or PDQ, whichever comes first!) to avoid any MOLD or MILDEW problems. This is especially true if the Flag is made of a "natural" fiber/fabric!!! Do NOT use chlorine bleach when washing the Flag. Try to find some kind of anti-bacterial detergent or additive to wash the Flag as there is NO telling what kind of "crap" is/was floating around in all that flood water!

    FLAG FOLDING : AFTER the Flag has been washed/cleaned... There are a number of videos (and animated "gifs") on-line that show the proper way to fold-up a "memorial" (funeral, burial, casket, etc.) Flag into the familiar triangle shape.

    Good Luck & God Bless!

    Robin Hickman
    "Your Friendly Neighborhood Flag Man"
    Eugene, Oregon, USA.
  3. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

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