At the Damsel’s cottage by the mountains, the Knight erected a flag pole, upon which an American flag waves 24/7. (A light shines on it at nighttime to make that okay.) Except last night, it was so windy, the family decided to bring the flag in.
The Damsel noticed the bottom corner had gotten tattered from snapping in the wind, and fired up her google-fu to find out if it’s kosher to mend a flag. She was surprised to find very little information. She saw plenty of references to the proper way to dispose of a worn-out flag (let the boy scouts or veterans burn it in a special ceremony) but what about mending? Is that okay?
The Damsel actually had to (gasp!) pick up the telephone and call a flag company to find out. It is considered respectful to wash and/or mend a flag when needed.
As you can see this corner is in bad shape. According to the flag company, it’s permissible to trim this off and rehem the flag, although it throws off the balance of stripes vs. stars a tiny bit.
Cut in a straight line, all the way across. Mark the line first if you feel nervous about eyeballing it. Just make the cut so that all the frayed fabric is cut off.
Thread the machine with white thread. Fold over a bit of the cut edge, 1/4″ or so, or a presser-foot-full, and simply sew a straight seam to hem the flag. Once that’s done, you can fold it over once again and sew. It’s not strictly necessary, but you can if you like. Don’t stress. No one is going to be judging your flag hem.
While the Damsel was sewing, a sprog wandered in. “Hey, Betsy Ross!” One is left to suppose that comment is unavoidable if you’re sewing and a flag is spread across your lap.
Oh, and to wash it…you can just put it right in the washing machine, along with a towel or some such just to help make up a load. Flags are made of extremely durable fabric, so a washing machine won’t do it any harm. Or a dryer.
Long may it wave!