Soot damaged American Flag

Discussion in 'Flag Identification and Collecting' started by aspenedelen, Apr 11, 2008.

  1. aspenedelen

    aspenedelen New Member

    I am the owner of a carpet cleaning company and have been approached with the cleaning of a 10X15 American Flag. The flag was flying next to a Chinese restaurant that burned down. There is no fire damage to it but a lot of soot and I am sure there is a lot of grease and oils that have migrated to the flag. Is this flag cleanable by a professional upholstery cleaning company? Dye movement would not be a issue as I can prevent it. Any ideas anyone? Anything would be appreciated ASAP. Thanks,

    Anthony
     
  2. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    Greetings, Anthony!

    Is this flag cleanable by a professional upholstery cleaning company?

    From a protocol point of view, there's absolutely nothing wrong with cleaning a dirty flag by any appropriate method. As to whether a professional upholsery cleaning company would have the technical ability to clean the flag without further damaging it -- I can't answer that one! Anybody?

    Peter Ansoff
     
  3. OMG! a question that peter cant answer!!!! goodness this must be a first on this forum!!!!

    i would have thought cleaning this flag would be OK but i cannot see the flag for myself so i cannot fully assess it.
    u could always try cleaning a little bit at the fly end of the flag and see if it works

    let us know how u get on

    --by the way - what material is the flag made from?
     
  4. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    OMG! a question that peter cant answer!!!! goodness this must be a first on this forum!!!!

    Hey, you just haven't been asking the right questions!! Seriously, though, the whole area of fabrics, threads, dyes and such is largely a "black hole" to me. I've picked up a little from reading about it and listening to people who know about it, but I defer to the experts when questions come up about things like that.

    This area is an important aspect of US flag history, because it's possible (to an extent) to date relic flags based on their materials and construction. The interesting thing is that the information you get from that kind of analysis is usually negative -- you can be fairly certain that a given flag *didn't* exist during the Revolutionary War, but you can't establish that it *did*. The most famous example of that sort of thing is probably the so-called "Bennington Flag." It was once thought to be a Revolutionary War relic, but textile analysis showed pretty clearly that it could not have been made in the 1770s.

    Peter A.
     

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