Can You Fly the American Flag During Bad Weather?

Is there rain in the forecast for your city or area? If so, you might be wondering whether it’s acceptable to fly the American flag during bad weather. Whether you live on the East Coast, the West Coast or elsewhere, it’s unlikely that you’ll experience 365 days of clear skies and sunny weather. On some days, you’ll probably experience rain and other forms of bad weather. This begs the question: What should you do with your American flag during bad weather?

How Bad Weather Can Affect the American Flag

When the American flag is flown in bad weather, it may sustain damage. Rain alone can soak an American flag made of an organic fabric like cotton. As the American flag absorbs all this moisture, it may develop mold or mildew. But that’s just one of many ways in which bad weather can damage an American flag.

Rain is often accompanied with strong winds. When an American flag is flown atop Flagpoles, it will be exposed to these winds. As the strong winds batter the American flag, it may cause the fabric from which it’s made to rip or tear.

Furthermore, constant exposure to the sun’s Ultraviolet (UV) rays can degrade an American flag. It typically doesn’t happen overnight, but leaving an American flag outdoors for a long period of time can result in gradual degradation.

What The United States Flag Code Says About Displaying the American Flag During Bad Weather

The U.S. Flag Code — a piece of legislation governing the use of the American Flag — actually contains a section about flying the American flag in the bad weather. In section “§6. Time and occasions for display,” the U.S. Flag Code states that the American flag should not be flown in bad weather unless it’s an all-weather flag.

Choosing a Weather-Resistant American Flag

Under the U.S. Flag Code, you can fly the American flag during bad weather but only if it’s weather resistant. How do you know if an American flag is weather resistant exactly? Generally speaking, American flags made entirely of an organic fabric like Cotton are not weather resistant, nor should they be flown during bad weather. Therefore, you need to choose an American flag made of a synthetic material that’s able to withstand rain, wind and other forms of bad weather. The American flags sold here at Star Spangled Flags, for instance, are made of super-tough Nylon and Polyester. As a result, you can proudly fly them during rain or sun.