Did You Know? What Gold Fringe Means on the American Flag

Not all American flags are the same. While they all have the same design consisting of 50 stars and 13 stripes, some of them feature gold fringe. A fluffy gold-colored fabric is sewn around the edges of these flags, resulting in a unique appearance that distinguishes them from other American flags. Being that only some American flags feature gold fringe, you might be wondering what it means.

Origins of Gold Fringe American Flags

American flags haven’t always featured gold fringe. According to The American Legion, it wasn’t until 1835 when they began to feature gold fringe. The first American flag, of course, was designed long before that time. On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress passed a piece of legislation recognizing an official American flag. This legislation didn’t include any mention of gold fringe. Rather, gold fringe American flags began appearing many decades later in 1835.

Meaning of Gold Fringe American Flags

You’ll typically find American flags with gold fringe displayed by the U.S. Army and other branches of the military. The American Legion states that gold fringe was added to the American flag for Army regiments in the late 1800s. In 1895, the U.S. Army officially added gold fringe to its American flags. Since then the U.S. Army and other branches of the military have continued to display American flags with gold fringe.

Should You Buy an American Flag With Gold Fringe?

Gold fringe American flags are designed for use by the U.S. military. The U.S. military has been displaying for over a century. With that said, neither the U.S. Flag Code nor any other legislation prohibits civilians from displaying American flags with gold fringe.

According to Army Regulation 840-10, American flags with gold fringe should only be displayed indoors and for ceremonial use. This makes sense considering that gold fringe is typically susceptible to weather-related damage. When displayed outdoors, the gold fringe will soak up the rain and humidity, thus making it vulnerable to damage. And when an American flag is damaged beyond the point of repair, it must be retired in an honorable and respectable manner.

Gold fringe is simply a decorative addition to the American flag. It doesn’t change the American flag’s actual design. As previously mentioned, it consists of a fluffy gold-colored fabric that’s added to the edges or border of an American flag. Gold fringe American flags were introduced in the 1800s for use by the U.S. Army.