connie vallone

How to Properly Store the American Flag

In Curb appeal, Houston Real Estate, Texas, West Houston Real Estate, West Houston REALTOR Connie Vallone on May 22, 2015 at 11:59 am

How to Properly Store the American Flag

By Emmet Pierce

Aging flags often become heirlooms and keepsakes that need to be stored carefully, says Richard R. Gideon, a flag historian. “There is a pretty large body of flag collectors out there,” he says.

The fabric used to make flags often becomes fragile over time. The key to successful storage is finding a place where your flag won’t be exposed to dirt or damaging ultraviolet light.

If you don’t have storage room in your home, a self-storage unit can be an ideal place to keep a special flag. Here are four tips on how to properly store the American flag.

1. Keep Dust and Dirt Off Your Flag. If your flag is dirty, avoid dry-cleaning it. Before you put a flag into storage, Gideon recommends cleaning it with a low-pressure vacuum and covering it with acid-free paper, which can be found at art supply stores. If your flag needs additional cleaning, Gideon suggests asking a local museum to refer you to an expert in textile conservation.

2. Keep Your Flag in a Dark Place. Never store a flag where it can be exposed to sunlight, says Philip Kauppinen, owner of Grand New Flag. Like a color photograph left in the sun, your flag gradually will begin to fade.

“If it is very old, it is going to be delicate,” he says. “You don’t want to store it in direct sunlight, because that will make it fade and brittle.”

For long-term storage, experts do not recommend folding an American flag.

3. Store Your Flag Flat. There’s a military tradition of folding American flags in the shape of a triangle, with the stars on the outside, but that’s not part of the Flag Code adopted by Congress, according to Gideon. “That is a military tradition,” he says.

On its website, Heritage Preservation, a public policy group, points out that prolonged storage in a folded condition leads to permanent creases in flags.

If you’re using a self-storage unit that is too crowded to accommodate a flat table, carefully roll the flag around a mailing tube that’s been wrapped in acid-free paper.

4. Avoid Swings in Temperature and Humidity. This means keeping flags out of attics, where summer temperatures can soar, or basements, where mold may occur, unless those rooms are temperature-controlled.

If you decide to put your flag in a self-storage unit, choose one with air conditioning and humidity control.

Choose a temperature range that would be comfortable for living conditions. Regardless of their materials, flags do best at 55 percent to 75 percent relative humidity, Gideon says.

5. Respect the Flag. Handing a flag requires proper etiquette.Tom Piazze, first vice president of the Military Officers Association of America, says you should always show respect for an American flag, even when it is in storage. The flag is a symbol of America’s courage, strength and compassion, he says, and it also has come to symbolize democracy.

“The U.S. flag is an emblem of our nation, our country,” Piazze says. “It represents our beliefs, our way of life around the world.”

Here are some guidelines for handling a U.S. flag:

– The flag should never be used as a drapery or as a decoration.

– The flag should not bear any drawing, mark, insignia, word, number or figure.

– The flag should not touch the ground.

– Never throw away a U.S. flag. The flag should be destroyed by burning it in a dignified manner. Contact your local American Legion, VFW or Boy Scout chapter for information about flag retirement ceremonies.

Source: and

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.

NEW LISTING! 20718 Fernwick Village Drive, Cypress, TX 77433 – MLS# 59783451

In Buying a new home, Home Buying, Home buying in West Houston, Houston Real Estate, Relocate to Houston, Relocate to Texas, West Houston Real Estate, West Houston REALTOR Connie Vallone on May 18, 2015 at 10:50 am

NEW LISTING! 20718 Fernwick Village Drive, Cypress, TX 77433 – MLS# 59783451

20718 Fernwick Village DriveBeautiful open floor plan. Bright and light with high ceilings. Step into your foyer with study/ dining to the left that leads to a huge living area that opens to your kitchen. Wood laminate and tile flooring throughout first floor living areas. Retreat to your large master suite upstairs plus two more bedrooms plus a game room. Oversize backyard plenty of room to play or entertain!

HAR Link:


If you are interested in buying or selling real estate in West Houston, please contact Connie Vallone with First Market Realty at 713 249 4177  or visit  or .


Spring into the Homebuying Season with These Home Improvement Projects

In Home Buying, Home buying in West Houston, Home Improvement, Home Maintenance, Home Values, Houston Real Estate, Relocate to Texas, West Houston Real Estate on May 12, 2015 at 12:12 pm

No matter where you live, the spring season is associated with cleaning and change. From saying goodbye to the old and hello to the new, the season also offers the perfect opportunity for sellers to take care of projects they’ve been putting off all winter. Whether it’s painting, replacing bathroom fixtures, sanding kitchen cabinets, staining the deck or re-grouting the bathroom, now’s the time to get the ball rolling on various home improvement projects that will pay big dividends when prospective buyers come to view your home.

While most of the home improvement projects you’re ready to tackle require detailed planning and preparation, you’ve more than likely been gearing up for these projects throughout the winter season. Even if you’re just getting around to planning your project, a visit to your local hardware store or a YouTube video of a DIY project can go a long way toward helping you get your project get off the ground.

Now that spring has sprung, you can also change various accessories within the home to create a totally different look. Bringing spring colors into the home is easy, especially with accessories like throw pillows, area rugs, artwork, towels and bedspreads. Designers recommend bringing in certain colors (think pears, eggs and seashells) to play off the spring theme. You can also incorporate leaf patterns in fabrics, wicker, real leather and rust metal to add a level of contrast.

Turning to the yard, one doesn’t need a green thumb to help their lawn look top-notch. In fact, adding flowers around the outside of the home is an easy way to create a beautiful color scheme. Flowers can either be put directly into the ground or arranged in planter’s boxes that can then be situated on a porch, in a sunroom or on a windowsill.

Flowers that are most manageable include marigolds, pansies, snapdragons and alyssum. Marigolds can be found in bright yellow and vivid orange, while pansies typically range from dark purple to pale violet. Snapdragons are taller and range from pink to blood red, while alyssum—used to fill out the space between plants—has tiny white or purple flowers on a bed of green.

You can also add shrubs to your lawn, planting a mixture of interesting bushes with architectural form and texture, which will add year-round ornamental value.

With the brutal winter behind us, now’s the perfect time to start thinking about spring cleaning and getting your home and yard in shape for the warmer weather headed our way.

For more information on getting your home ready for spring, contact our office today.

If you are interested in buying or selling real estate in West Houston, please contact Connie Vallone with First Market Realty at 713 249 4177  or visit  or .


Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.


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