Flag Poles

Garden flags and flag poles

The rise of patriotism and the popularity of decorative flags have created a market for strong, stable and long-lasting flag poles. Flag poles can be used to display your state or country's flag, a family crest, a favorite sports team's emblem or other decorative yard and garden flags.

Choosing the Right Flag Pole

There are two main types of flag poles: a halyard, horizontal flag pole that is mounted in the ground, or an outrigger, vertical flag pole that is mounted to the wall of a home or shed. A ground-mounted flag pole's listed height is usually its above-ground height instead of its full height. Heights range from 15 to 80 feet, though 15, 20 and 25 feet are the most common for residential use. Wall-mounted flag poles come in lengths from 8 feet to 20 feet. Telescoping flagpoles, which are adjustable in height or length, are also available.

Fiberglass flag poles are often used in commercial environments for their strength, lasting gleam and resistance to salt water and other pollutants. Aluminum flag poles are popular because they are low-maintenance and can be cleaned with almost any solvent. Most other flag poles should have chemicals spot-tested on them before use. Normal dirt and stains, however, can usually be removed simply by hosing the flag pole with low to moderate pressure.

Check what sort of winds the flag pole can withstand when the flag is taken off. Standard professional flag poles can withstand winds of up to 70 mph. While winds don't get stronger than this in most of the United States, some coastal areas can see winds as strong as 150 mph, which means people in these areas need high-impact flag poles.

Installing a Flag Pole

Depending on how tall the flag pole you purchase is, it may come in sections that need to be put together. Typically, about 10 percent of a flag pole's length should be buried into the ground for maximum stability.

When you purchase a flag pole, it usually comes with all the hardware needed to install it, but double check with your flagpole salesperson or manufacturer to be sure. You'll especially want to ask whether the flag pole comes with a ground sleeve.

Even if a ground sleeve is included, you may need concrete or sand to stabilize the flag pole. If you use sand, the ground sleeve will also need to be sealed to keep out water, or the sand may shift. A waterproof compound should be put into the top couple inches of the sleeve to prevent any shifting.

It's also customary to keep lights on the flag pole if the country's flag is being flown 24 hours a day. In general, outdoor lighting for flagpoles has to be purchased separately.

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