We’ve all (at least, all of us who are Americans) seen American flags that are a little too long in the tooth, and are getting tattered at the ends. And invariably, when this happens, the tears are always right along the boundary between a red stripe and a white stripe. Now, for the high-quality flags where each stripe is a different piece of cloth sewn together, this would make sense: It just means that the seams are coming undone. But you also see it on cheap one-piece flags that have the entire pattern printed on.
OK, I might try to explain that by saying that the dye weakens the fabric somehow, but if that were it, one would expect to see tears anywhere within a (dyed) red stripe, not always right at the edge.
So, does anyone know the real reason?