How to Store an American Flag ​

by Dusty Rhodes on Sep 18, 2020  in 
  • Portable Storage
  • Personal Storage
  • Packing Tips
hazy summer days

Nothing symbolizes freedom and patriotism quite like the American flag. Displaying an American flag is a fantastic way to show respect and love for our beautiful country. Flying the flag proudly is a great way to commemorate special holidays including Independence Day, Memorial Day, and Veterans Day and it’s a physical reminder of the sacrifices that have been made to preserve our nation. While the American flag can be displayed any time of the year, some people choose to place it in storage between holidays to preserve its condition. You might also have to store your flag if you are moving. Unlike other household items, the American flag should not simply be folded up and placed in a box. Due to the message it represents and out of respect for our country, the American flag should be handled in a particular manner. Before taking down your flag, consider these tips for proper handling and storage.

Cleaning Your Flag

Prior to storage, it is important to make sure your flag is clean. It is best to try and avoid getting your flag dirty in the first place, but if you do notice dirt or dust, never have your flag dry cleaned. Try wiping your flag with a damp cloth and vacuum with a low-pressure vacuum if needed. If your flag requires deeper cleaning, consider taking it to a local museum to find an expert in textile conservation.

How to Properly Fold the American Flag

(Your flag should only be folded for short-term storage, as prolonged storage in a folded condition leads to permanent creases)


The first step in preparing your flag for storage, is learning how to properly fold it. The American flag is traditionally folded in a specific arrangement to show respect. Proper folding technique requires at least two, but preferably three, people.

  1. Start by folding the flag together lengthwise over the Union, keeping the edges straight and crisp.
  2. Fold it lengthwise again, keeping the blue Union on the outside.
  3. Starting at the red stripes end, fold in a triangular fashion until you reach the blue end. There should be 13 triangular folds by the end.
  4. The remaining fabric should be at the end of the triangular folds should be tucked inside the folds to secure it.

Long-Term Storage Tips

As stated before, a folded flag is ideal for short-term storage such as moving. If you plan on storing your flag for months on end, it is recommended to store your flag flat in order to prevent creasing. If space allows, lay your flag flat on a table, covering it with acid free paper for protection. If you do not have space to store your flag flat, carefully roll the flag around a mailing tube that has been wrapped in acid free paper.


Use Wooden Boxes or Plastic Bags

Triangular plastic bags are available at most craft stores as well as some online retailers. These plastic bags are ideal for short-term storage of folded flags. If you would like to display your flag, there are also plenty of wood boxes and cases available. Both plastic cases and wood boxes are acceptable means for storage, as they will protect the flag from moisture, dirt, and pests.

Other Flag Storage Tips

You want to be sure your flag is stored in an appropriate place. Always store your flag in a dark place, as sunlight can cause stains and fading. You also want to store your flag in a climate-controlled environment such as an interior closet or storage unit. You should keep the flag out of places like attics, sheds, and garages where temperatures can fluctuate and moisture can build up. Finally, it is important to respect the flag by ensuring it never touches the ground.


The American flag is an important emblem of our country, representing the sacrifice of many and the freedom of all. It symbolizes courage, strength, and democracy and should therefore be treated with respect. Follow these important tips for proper storage etiquette of the American flag.

Dusty Rhodes