As of 2017, 63.9% of Americans owned an American flag. Displaying the flag has been a way to show patriotism for many years. During times of divide and times of togetherness, the American flag stands as a symbol of the strength and courage of the American people. Flying the flag on a telescoping flagpole is a great way to show the neighborhood what matters to you.
The trick, of course, is finding the right means of displaying your flag. And while a traditional flagpole with a rope and pulley system seems to be a good option, the truth is that there are much better options available today to fly your flag.
Our personal favorite? A telescoping flagpole. We’ve listed below a few reasons why we believe the telescoping flagpole is the best solution to your flag flying needs.
What is a Telescoping Flagpole?
A telescoping flagpole is a flagpole designed to adapt. Having the ability to easily move the flagpole, change out the flag or the flags position quickly, and easy maintenance are some of these adaptations. If you are looking for a flagpole but don’t like the idea of learning how to operate a pulley system, possible costly repairs, and time consuming maintenance a telescoping flagpole is the perfect solution.
Remember the radio antennas of yesteryear? The ones that were made up of stacking sections, that locked into place once pulled up? Telescoping flagpoles work very similarly, each section is pushed up and locked into place, to stand proudly at its maximum height. When the user is ready to bring the flagpole down they simply twist the pole to unlock each section then drop them down into the lower sections. This makes storing the flagpole and maintenance much easier.
How It Works
A telescoping flagpole has several benefits over traditional flagpoles. These all come back to how the pole is structured and how it operates.
It works like a telescope. When all the sections are folded into each other, the flagpole is a third or a quarter of its full height. This gives you the ability to store the pole in your garage or bring it along with you on trips.
When you want to raise the flagpole, all you have to do is push the sections up and twist to lock the section into place. Conversely, when you want to lower the flagpole, all you have to do is twist the opposite way and let the sections slide back together until the flagpole is fully retracted.
The result is a smaller, easily portable flagpole.
Differences Between Other Types of Flagpoles
Adaptation makes telescoping flagpoles quite different from traditional rope and pulley flagpoles in all the best ways.
A traditional flagpole is typically made up of one long pole permanently stuck into a ground sleeve with a rope and pulley system that is used to raise and lower the flag. This type of flagpole usually requires more set up cost and work. There is also usually more operational learning upfront in order to properly fly the flag. Maintenance of the rope and pole itself commonly has to be done by a professional.
Telescoping flagpoles offer a critical element of convenience. Instead of attaching a flag and raising it via a rope and pulley system, the user simply clips the flag to the top section of the pole and then extends it.
And if you want to take the pole down, all you need to do is unlock and drop the sections down and lift the pole out of its ground sleeve. No fuss, no struggling, truly a one person job.
Advantages of Owning a Telescoping Flagpole
The design of a telescoping flagpole means that it offers several advantages. Here at Flagpole Farm, we’re huge fans of providing a flagpole that almost anyone can operate. Here are some of the biggest benefits we see for our customers.
You’ll notice the advantages of a telescoping flagpole as soon as you receive your order. Unlike a traditional flagpole, telescoping flagpoles are ridiculously easy to set up.
The process of installing a traditional flagpole can be a big task. A professional usually has to come install the ground sleeve, insert the pole, attach the rope and flag, ensure the pole is straight, and secure it properly. In terms of set up, this type of flagpole generally requires more time, money, and materials.
A telescoping flagpole is much simpler, once you install the flagpole’s ground sleeve using the provided easy-to-follow instructions, you can insert your pole and extend. If the ground sleeve is secure, your flagpole is secure.
Another advantage of telescoping flagpoles is quite obvious: their adjustable height.
With a traditional flagpole, all you have is one height, so reaching the top of your pole to change the topper, provide maintenance to the pulley system, or clean the pole can be a huge task. Never mind trying to take down and store the pole–if it’s too tall, it most likely won’t fit comfortably in your house or garage.
These concerns aren’t an issue with a telescoping flagpole. If the user wants to remove the flag, change the topper, or clean the pole all they need to do is unextend the pole sections. You can bring the sections down, finish the work yourself and extend the pole back up in minutes. It’s as easy as pushing and twisting.
Adaptable to the Wind
The telescoping flagpoles sections make them far more adaptable to wind conditions than traditional flagpoles.
A one-piece flagpole with a rope and pulley system is static. The flag and the ropes move, but the pole itself doesn’t. On those days when the wind can’t decide whether it’s coming or going, this is a one-way recipe to a tangled flag and tangled ropes. The only real way to fix it is to pull the ropes loose or get the flag down to detangle the mess.
Telescoping flagpoles are designed smarter than that.
For one thing, there’s no rope and pulley system, tangled ropes have been an issue with flagpoles for years, so having a rope system now-a-days just doesn’t make sense. On the telescoping flagpole you’ll find flag clips instead of a rope. The benefits of these clips include easy and quick flag attachment, 360 degree rotation of the flag around the pole, low maintenance, and the ability to easily fly more than one flag.
Secondly, the joints of the telescoping flagpole sections allow for the pole to have some give during heavy winds. This promotes the flagpole to work with the wind rather than against it. Giving these flagpoles the ability to withstand wind speeds up to 95 MPH.
Easy Storage in Inclement Weather
In addition, the telescoping flagpole’s design makes storage during inclement weather easy.
Picture the kinds of storms your hometown sees. Heavy rain, thunderstorms, snowstorms, blizzards, tornados, or very strong winds–whatever it looks like, it can wreak havoc on your property. Including your flagpole, which you don’t want to get damaged or broken. You certainly don’t want your flagpole to end up falling on your house or your neighbors property.
Traditional flagpoles generally can’t be taken down. If they need to be taken down it is usually a lengthy process.
The owners of traditional flagpoles take down the flag during bad weather and hope their flagpole weathers the storm. Carrying the pole somewhere safe isn’t normally an option.
On the other hand, a telescoping flagpole allows the owner to bring their pole to safety during large storms. Better still, you can handle it all by yourself.
Although our telescoping flagpoles have great wind ratings, you may still want to bring it in for peace of mind. That’s okay! The process of taking down the flag and pole is simple. All you have to do is twist and drop each section, making sure to unclip the flag before dropping the top section. Then, you can lift the shortened pole out of the ground sleeve and take it to safety inside. It’s easy enough that your older kids could even take the pole down if needed.
Storage When You’re Away from Home
This also makes telescoping flagpoles far easier to store when you’re away from home.
When you’re on vacation, you want to enjoy yourself and have the least amount of things to worry about.
In many cases, a traditional flagpole is simply too much hassle to take down and store anytime you go away. If you don’t have anywhere to store it, the solution most people choose is to leave the flagpole standing. But that leaves you with a glaring red flag if a bad storm rolls through.
A telescoping flagpole removes one more worry and potential headache when leaving your home. All you have to do is fold up the flagpole and store it in your garage or in a closet.
That way, it’s safely out of sight and protected from the elements and strangers, ready to stand tall and fly proud again once you come home.
A Telescoping Flagpole That Moves With You
On the other hand, if you want your flagpole to go with you, a telescoping flagpole can do that too.
You know that feeling when you move into a new house? It’s exciting to think about the new memories you’ll make here. But it doesn’t quite feel like you yet, with all your possessions in boxes and the house still bearing the traces of former owners.
A traditional flagpole is unwieldy and difficult to move. Taking it down is a big job to begin with. Depending on how tall it is, it may be too big to move with your other belongings. Then there’s all the setup waiting for you at the other end.
With a telescoping flagpole, it’s easy. All you need to do is fold up the flagpole and take it with you. As soon as you have a new ground sleeve in place, your flagpole is ready to go up. There’s no need to buy a whole new pole for your new home.
Great for Vacationing
This also makes telescoping flagpoles a great choice for vacationing.
If you have a primary residence and a vacation residence where you split your time, you may want both locations to feel equally homey. Furniture and decor go a long way, but there’s something to be said about pulling in and seeing the flag waving proudly.
As we’ve previously discussed, a traditional flagpole is a nightmare to move and frankly too much hassle to be worth the bother.
A telescoping flagpole, on the other hand, is easy as pie to fold up and carry with you. All you have to do is collapse the flag, lift it out of its ground sleeve, and pack it in the truck or RV. Once you arrive, you can set the flag into its ground sleeve and unfold it within a few minutes.
Or you can purchase two poles and safely store the one at whichever residence you aren’t occupying at the time.
Perfect for Camping and Tailgating
Easy transportation also makes a telescoping flagpole the perfect choice to wave your true colors while you’re camping or tailgating.
If you love to tailgate at the games of your favorite team and want to show your team spirit (and show you have more team spirit than the other guys, of course). A telescoping flagpole is your solution once again, you can easily pack up your flagpole at home and bring it along to fly your team colors at your tailgate. With a wheel stand or hitch mount, the flagpole slips right into its temporary home, right next to or on the back of your vehicle.
And if you’re camping, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to wave your flag proudly on the campground. Plus, it makes it easier to spot your campsite out of a crowd of campsites. With a telescoping flagpole, transportation and practicality are no obstacle. Just pack up your flagpole, set it up in a hitch mount or wheel stand, and let your flag wave freely.
Choosing Your Telescoping Flagpole
With so many advantages to a telescoping flagpole, the real question is why you haven’t already invested in one.
Of course, there’s a lot to think about when purchasing your flagpole. Here’s a few things you’ll need to analyze in order to make sure you are choosing the right one.
Height, Diameter, Wall Thickness
The flagpole’s height, combined with its diameter and wall thickness, are critical in its structural integrity and wind load capacity.
The diameter is the width of the pole, while the wall thickness refers to the thickness of the poles metal material. Taken together, they show the overall structural integrity of your flagpole against certain wind speeds. The Titan telescoping flagpole has a few different options ranging in diameters between 2.5” and 3”, wall thicknesses between 14 and 12 gauge, and wind speed ratings between 75 to 95 mph.
For most homeowners, the height of the flagpole should be around the height of the roof peak. This will keep the flagpole from towering over the house while also providing you with a bit of wind clearance. That said, you may need to adjust the height of the flag to account for slope in your lawn, or the flag will look disproportionate to the house.
A 20 foot flagpole looks great with most homes, though there are poles available in heights between 15 and 25 feet. If you have a two- or three-story home, a 25-foot flagpole might be your best option. For an estately feel, the 25 foot flagpole can make a world of difference.
Keep in mind, however, that you have to account for wind speed in your local area.
The height, diameter, and wall thickness will all impact how much wind a flagpole can handle, as will the exposed height. Try to look for a flagpole with a flagged wind speed that matches your maximum local wind speed. This FEMA map shows what the wind zone is in your local area, so you know what wind speed ratings to look for in a flagpole.
Flag to Flagpole Size Ratio
You’ll also have to consider the flag size to pole size ratio. You don’t want a flag that’s too big or too small in comparison to the height of your pole.
As a general rule of thumb, the flagpole height should have a 4:1 ratio with the flag, or a flagpole that’s about four times the length of your flag. For example, the correct dimensions of flag to flagpole are generally:
- 3-foot x 5-foot flag = 15-foot to 20-foot pole
- 4-foot x 6-foot flag = 20-foot to 25-foot pole
- 5-foot x 8-foot flag = 25-foot flagpole
Flags larger than these are generally flown for commercial purposes, so we won’t cover those dimensions here.
From there, you have to consider the material of the flagpole, which is both a structural and aesthetic consideration.
Generally, in-ground flagpoles are either fiberglass or aluminum.
Aluminum is a popular option because it’s strong and lightweight. This material is usually more substantial than fiberglass, which makes it more popular for commercial flagpoles as well. There are several different colors of aluminum to choose from which makes matching it to the design of your house simple.
Fiberglass isn’t quite as strong as aluminum, however the look of it is very nice. The sheen this material carries helps keep the flag from becoming scratched easily.
You can look into steel poles, which are remarkably strong–they’re often used for flagpoles greater than 80 feet tall for that reason. However, steel poles are quite heavy, which can make them difficult to handle even if it telescopes.
We’re partial to aluminum poles because they offer the best look, strength, and weight combination. They look good and hold up against rough weather, but they’re also lightweight. Our Titan telescoping flagpole kit is a popular option among customers for that reason.
Single or Multiple Flag Display
When purchasing a flagpole, you also have to consider whether you want to display a single flag or multiple flags on your flagpole.
After all, you want to display your patriotic spirit, but there’s something to be said for showing your personality and flying your favorite sports team or a festive seasonal flag as well.
The nice thing about telescoping flagpoles is that they come configured to hold two flags, even if you don’t plan to fly more than one flag. That way, you’ll always have the option to show your patriotism and your personality if you want to.
Just don’t forget to display the American flag on top! According to U.S. flag etiquette, you can fly more than one flag with the American flag, but the American flag must be on top. If the flags are displayed on the same level, the American flag must be displayed on the right-hand side. In a group of state flags, the American flag must always be at the peak.
Location, Location, Location
Another critical consideration for your flagpole is where you’d like it to be displayed, especially if you’re installing a ground sleeve for the first time.
In order to create an attractive home appearance, your flagpole should be incorporated into the landscape design of your home. This involves a consideration of your sight lines.
A general rule in landscape design is to place taller or larger trees further away from the house so that the house can take visual prominence and the trees become a visual backdrop. The same logic applies to your flagpole.
The taller your flagpole is, the further it should be from the house. It should also be off-center relative to the front door so that the eye is drawn to the front door. The only exception is a house with a circular drive, in which case the flagpole should be placed in the center of the drive island.
Also, pay attention to your pole’s spacing from your trees and shrubs. You don’t want your trees to block the view of your flagpole, or the effect is lost.
Looking for Your Flagpole?
If you’re in the market for a telescoping flagpole, we’re delighted that you’ve come to the right place.
At Flagpole Farm, we firmly believe in providing the best possible products for our customers, because we always strive to make our brand synonymous with quality. So when you purchase a flagpole from us, you can rest assured that it’s made with the best materials available. We are so confident in our product we offer a warranty on the parts!
Ready to check out your options? Check out our selection of flagpoles and accessories today!