How To Choose The Right Outdoor American Flag

20 foot flagpole

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Something about the summer season brings out patriotism. Maybe it’s the Fourth of July celebrations, with fireworks lighting the evening skies. Perhaps it’s the freedom of beachside vacations and playing in the sun.

As the warm weather and the Fourth of July approaches, you may find yourself stuck by the urge to show your patriotic spirit.

There’s no better way to do so than flying an outdoor American flag.

The only question is, what kind should you get? What are your options?

If you’re inexperienced in flag differences and craftsmanship, have no fear! We’ll guide you through all the information you need.

Buy an American US Flag

If you search “American flag” on your search engine, you may find a $10.00 option or two that looks appealing. However, when it comes to flags, it holds true that you usually get what you pay for.

A lot of the cheap American flags on the internet come from outside of the US. Their materials are usually cheap and weak to weathering. These may do if you want to fly a flag indoors, but they probably won’t last outdoors.

Because of this, it’s typically best to buy an American-made flag. You can identify these by the tag, which will say “Made in America.” 

There are many reasons to buy an American-made flag. Their materials are higher-quality, and their design will last longer. However, the reasons for purchasing American-made aren’t just pragmatic. 

After all, you want to show your patriotism for your country! Buying a national flag made in your nation is itself patriotic. It also helps advance the national economy.


Materials for Your Outdoor American Flag

When you’re searching for the best outdoor flag, one of the vital factors in your decision should be the flag’s material. There are three types of materials most commonly used in making an American flag.


Nylon is the most popular material for American flags today. The material is lightweight, allowing the flag to fly freely even in low wind conditions. Nylon offers vibrant colors in the stripes and stars, often colored with UV-resistant ink.

Nylon is a standard issue, but it’s not the best quality flag out there. Because of its lightweight, it’s vulnerable to damage in areas that have high wind intensity.

This fabric allows for bright, vivid colors that resist fading more vigorously than other fabrics’ counterparts.


This material is heavier than nylon, bearing more in common with a boat sail than the kind of flag you buy at the store. It’s the ideal material for a high-wind area.

Usually, it’s made with two-ply polyester layers, adding to its durability. Our polyester flags have an X-Box sewn into the fly end of the flag for added reinforcement. 

You may experience some slight fading with regular exposure to the sun and precipitation with polyester. 


Cotton flags are among the most distinguished options on the market. Well-suited to ceremonial or commemorative use, these flags have uniquely rich colors. Their stars and stripes are sure to pop in a clear blue sky!

As with other cotton products, cotton flags tend to be the most expensive you’ll find. This flag should fly primarily on holidays, such as Independence Day or Presidents’ Day. 

Best Outdoor American Flag Dimensions

Once you know what material you want for your flag, you’ll then have to figure out its dimensions. American flags should fly with grace and dignity; a disproportionately large flag can seem ostentatious and flagrant if your pole isn’t tall enough. 

To figure out the right flag dimensions, you need to know what your flag will fly from. Is it flying from the column of your front porch? Are you installing a flagpole in your yard? 

Each of these flags will be a different size, proportionate to its location. 

What Size American Flag for House

The most common dimensions for a house flag are 3’x5′. Usually, these flags fly from a 15” pole. If your pole is 20′ in length or more, you should probably increase your flag to 4’x6′.

What Size American Flag for Flagpole

When it comes to a flagpole, the dimensions of a flag are a little less standardized. Your usual rule of thumb is to fly a flag that is either a third or a quarter of the flagpole’s height.

For example, the standard flagpole is 20 feet tall. If you divide 20′ by 4′, you get 5′ of length. So, in this case, you can still use the standard 3’x5′ flag.

However, you don’t have to limit your flagpole to a 3’x5′ flag. If you want a larger flag, you can go with a flag that’s 1/3 the length of your flagpole.

If you divide 20 by 3, you get 6 (with some change). As such, you can also fly a flag 6′ in length, which leaves you with a 4’x6′ flag.

 The rule of thumb is that the width of the flag should be approximately 20% of the height of the flagpole.  Therefore, a general guideline for the size of the flag for a flagpole would be as follows:

Pole Height            Flag Size

15’                            3’x5’

20’                            4’x6’

25’                            5’x8’ (a 4’x6’ flag looks great on this too)

30’                            6’x10 

How To Fly the Flag: A Crash Course in Etiquette 

This section is just for some quick notes once you’ve purchased your flag. If you didn’t already know, there are rules to follow when displaying an American flag. We’ll list some of the essentials for you here.

First, always fly the American flag higher than any other flag. It’s your nation’s flag, after all; it deserves a position of dignity. 

Second, on solemn days like 9-11, be sure to lower your flag to half staff if it’s on a flagpole. Likewise, if you fly your flag at night, make sure it’s lit to keep it on full display! 

Purchase Your Flag Today

Now that you know the basics about finding a quality flag, you can decide which is right for you! Do you want a house flag to fly from your deck while you grill? Do you want a flag that displays your national pride high above? 

Whatever your choice, we at Flagpole Farm have the flag you need! Visit our online store today!

*Blog Disclaimer: Flagpole Farm and Titan Telescoping Flagpoles are businesses solely focused on the production and sale of flagpoles and similar accessories. This blog is not to be used as a factual reference, rather as an opinion-based forum in which the information within is not official statements made on behalf of or by Flagpole Farm or Titan Telescoping Flagpoles. Information provided on this blog is accurate and true to the best of the writers’ knowledge, however, there may be omissions, errors, or mistakes. The writers of these blogs are not professionals in the Flagpole industry and the information included within this blog should not be viewed as written by such. At any point, Flagpole Farm reserves the right to change the focus and/or content of this blog.

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