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For many people, buying a flag is a tangible way to demonstrate national or civic pride. Buying a flag brings with it a set of traditions and protocols dating back centuries. Therefore, it is very important to understand the often subtle differences between the various types of flags available to the public. When buying a flag, it is also important to consider its specific purpose for your home, logistics for proper display and how to dispose of it with dignity.
First of all, when buying a flag, it is important to consider your intended purpose. Will this flag be on public display all year round or only brought out for certain holidays? Are you going to display other flags or pennants with a national flag? Will this flag be exposed to the elements or displayed in a window? All of these questions should help you determine the appropriate materials, style and dimensions when buying a flag.
Buying a flag may also mean buying a flag holder or flag pole. If you already have the means for displaying your flag, make sure the new flag is compatible. A flag supported by a stick should have enough clearance for the attached flag holding bracket. If you plan to use a flag pole, the rivets of the cloth flag should match the snaps on the rope. When buying a flag, make sure the weight of the material is appropriate for the holder. A lighter flag may be blown out of the holder during a stiff breeze, while a heavier flag may damage the holder over time.
One should also consider the durability of the flag material. If the flag is to be displayed outdoors, it should be made of a weather-resistant material or cloth. At the first sign of inclement weather, flags not rated for continuous exposure should be moved indoors. A paper or plastic flag may be appropriate for a single day's use, but not as a permanent display. When buying a flag, you should also consider the logistics and dimensions of your display area. An extremely large garrison flag might work well at a school or park, but not in an average front yard.
When buying a flag, it may help to know the proper procedure for disposing of the one it may replace. Detailed instructions on approved flag retirement are available through local veterans' groups, Boy Scout troops or online. Boy Scout troops and other local civic organizations may hold periodic flag retirement ceremonies, so you may want to donate your damaged or retired flags at that time.
@Soulfox -- I agree with you, but I am also a free trader by nature and, as such, refrain from telling people where to buy things. I always by American made items when possible because, well, I am an American and I like to support workers in this nation.
Having said that, though, I have never been one to tell people that they should buy American for whatever reason. As a free trader, I have faith that people will go for the products that fit their needs the best. It might be odd to go out and buy a flag of the United States that is made in China, but that will happen because of price, availability and other factors
. So what?
Oh, and I do know a veteran's group here in town that sells American flags for fundraisers. I am not sure where those flags are made and I don't care. I want to support those veterans, so if they sell me a flag that is made in China then so be it.
I would also take a close look at where that flag was made. Call me nuts, but I have always thought it is poor form to purchase a flag that is made outside of the country represented by that flag. We may be in a so called global economy, but when you buy a flag you should also support the economy and the workforce of the nation that is represented by that flag.
One thing that I think deters people from purchasing a flag made by domestic labor is the sometimes higher prices of the things. Don't let that stop you, though. Buy domestic and support your neighbors, right?