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Flag Fabrics & Sizes


American Flags come in a variety of materials including Polyester, Nylon and Cotton. Some flag fabrics aren't suitable for certain uses, climates or weather conditions. For example a flag designed for indoor use is not durable enough to be flown outside and will not last. Choosing a flag of the right material will assure it a longer lifespan with less wear and tear.

Listed below are features of some of the most popular fabrics used to make flags.




Polyester is an economical material great for making light-weight flags that will fly in very little wind. The low price makes polyester flags perfect for temporary use, special occasions and events. Flags can be printed on regular polyester or Superknit. Superknit is more durable.

The Sewn/Spun Polyester flag is the most durable flag on the market! Its heavy weight resists high winds, while the open weave of the fabric reduces stress and wear. It also resists fading and fraying. Because of its weight, it takes more wind to fly, but it can be flown 24/7. The material resembles a coarse cotton.


Nylon flags are the most popular flags on the market! They are economical and great for indoor or outdoor use. Nylon is strong and durable, close weave, colorfast and fast-drying. These flags have an attractive appearance and fly in light wind. They are available in a sewn or printed variety. Sewn flags are more durable.

Cotton is the traditional material used for flags. It is economical but not as durable as other fabrics. Cotton flags are available for indoor and outdoor use, and are great for ceremonies and other temporary uses.


Flags and flagpoles come in a variety of sizes. Poles specified for indoor flags, should only be used inside, and outdoor poles should only be used outside. The larger the flag, the taller a flagpole must be to accommodate it. Generally the length of the flag should be one third to one quarter the height of the flagpole.

You can use the Pythagorean Theorem (a² + b² = c²) to figure out the pole size for each flag. Once you find the value for c, multiply it by 3 and then by 4. This will give you an approximate range of pole sizes that can accommodate your flag.


Here is the formula for a 3ft x 5ft flag:

a = flag length
b = flag width
c = 1/3 to 1/4 pole height (unknown)

a² + b² = c²
3² + 5² = c²
9 + 25 = c²
34 = c²
√34 = √c²
c = 5.8…
c ≅ 6

6 x 3 = 18,
6 x 4 = 24

pole height ≅ 18ft to 24ft

∴ A 20ft or 25ft pole will hold a 3ft x 5ft flag.

If you don't want to do the math, please refer to the chart below.


Height of Flagpole Minimum Flag Size Maximum Flag Size
15 ft 2.5ft x 4ft 4ft x 6ft
20 ft 3ft x 5ft 5ft x 8ft
25 ft 3ft x 5ft 5ft x 8ft
30 ft 4ft x 6ft 6ft x 10ft
40 ft 5ft x 8ft 8ft x 12ft
50 ft 6ft x 10ft 10ft x 15ft
60 ft 8ft x 12ft 12ft x 18ft
70 ft 10ft x 15ft 15ft x 25ft
80 ft 10ft x 19ft 20ft x 30ft

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