Huge Flag

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Flag Discussion' started by patriot_girl, May 18, 2009.

  1. patriot_girl

    patriot_girl New Member

    I belong to a patriotic organization. We were lent a very huge flag, the kind that can only be hung from the ladders on two fire trucks. I don't remember the size but it is about the biggest they make, maybe 30 feet long.

    It has been stored since last summer and it was just discovered there is mold and mildew on it. Any practical ideas on how to clean and dry this flag? The only thing I can think of is to spread it out flat in the grass to try to wash and dry it. I doubt the fire department would get their trucks out to hang dry it.

    Also, any recommendation on what to use to remove the mold and mildew without bleach? I believe it is polyester. I have read vinegar or lemon juice. Perhaps OxiClean?
  2. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    Hello, Patriot Girl !

    Welcome to the USA-Flag-Site forums !

    WOW! What a difficult question! How DOES one wash a HUGE U.S. Flag?

    You probably came here hoping to get some answers or advice from an "expert" on Flag-cleaning. I'm NOT an expert on the subject but I'd like to think that there is someone here who is, and that they'll offer a solution here in the next couple of days.

    Although I don't think I have an answer for you, I think I have a couple of suggestions and recommendations that MIGHT help. But you'll need to gather some information about your Flag first.

    Some questions...

    #1 Who made the Flag ?
    #2 What is the exact size of the Flag ?
    #3 What material is the Flag (itself) and the "Header" made of ?
    #4 Is the Flag a "single" thickness, or double ?
    #5 How much of the Flag/Header is moldy/mildewed ?
    #6 What type of Stars are on the Flag (Appliqued, Embroidered, etc.) ?

    Some reasons for those questions...

    #1 The company that MADE the Flag will probably be the best ones to know HOW to CLEAN it. If you don't know who made the Flag, maybe you can find out which national, regional, or local distributor, wholesaler or retail outlet sold the Flag. If they deal with selling such large Flags on a regular basis, then maybe THEY wouldd know how to clean it.

    [ NOTE : Another way to get "expert" cleaning advice for your Flag is to contact someone who OWNS a HUGE American Flag. They gotta clean 'em sometime, don't they ??? ]

    #2 It helps to know what size your flag is so you'll know just how "BIG" your cleaning "problem" is, right ?

    #3 Since you seem to think that your flag is made out of polyester, so chances are that it is made of a synthetic material such as polyester or nylon. The "Header" is the (usually) white strip of material at the "head end" (nearest the flagpole) of the Flag that holds the grommets or D-rings that are used to connect the flag to the halyard. The header is usually made of heavy duty cotton or polyester canvas and some of the really large ones have a rope inside the header. You might be "lucky" and only the header and the flag material closest to the header are the part of the flag that suffers from mold & mildew!

    #4 Many larger Flags are made of a double thickness of material (usually polyester). Hopefully, yours is a single thickness.

    #5 (Related to the tail end of answer #3) HOW MUCH of your Flag & Header suffer from mold & mildew, and WHERE is it located. Determining this might give you a much better (and easier) idea of the best way to clean your Flag.

    #6 Usually 6'x10' and larger Flags are manufactured using "appliqued" Stars. These are a WHOLE lot easier to clean than the embroidered Stars used on smaller Flags.

    You said in your post : "I doubt the fire department would get their trucks out to hang dry it."

    My advice is to ASK THEM. While it's possible that if you ask them to help they might say, "No". BUT, if you DON'T ask them then it's a CERTAINTY that they won't help. So, what have you got to lose? Ask them. Who knows? Maybe they'll know of a Fire Department somewhere that has some experience with cleaning really BIG Flags !!!

    As for what type of cleaning solvent, soap, detergent, or chemical would be the best for cleaning your Flag ???

    I'm a middle-aged white guy who hasn't the foggiest idea as to what will work the best !!! (But I've used OxyClean for a number of things with good results!)

    I'm hoping that one of our members with a whole lot more knowledge and experience in cleaning HUGE flags will jump in here and help you out.

    In the meantime.....

    The "CORE" of my advice is IF you want to find out HOW to CLEAN a really, really BIG Flag, then ASK someone who MAKES really, really BIG Flags, or SELLS really, really BIG Flags, or OWNS a really, really BIG Flag !!!

    I know that I was unable to provide you with any advice on how to actually clean your Flag, but I hope I was able to give you some useable ideas as to what to consider and where to look. If I haven't. I apologize for taking up your time.

    Good Luck !

    And, Thank You for bringing your question to our forums !!!

    Robin Hickman

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