You may have never thought you would be in the market for a flagpole, but the time has come. You and your family want to display a flag on your property, and there is no better way to do so than with a flagpole.
Whether the flag you wish to fly is a state flag, a military flag, college flag, the flag of your favorite sports team, or the good old Stars and Stripes, you want to choose the best pole for the job.
There are many factors to consider when determining what flagpole to choose.
Flagpoles come in different heights, widths, and styles, and are constructed out of a variety of different materials. You’ll want to think about your property, local laws, and the weather where you live when making your decision. There are also a few other factors you should consider as well.
How to Choose the Perfect Flagpole
If you’re buying your first-ever flagpole or your hundredth, read on to learn everything you need to know about these majestic supports.
Material and Construction
A number of different materials are used to make flagpoles. Back when people first started flying flags from poles, they were often made from tall, thin trees like lodgepole pines stripped of their branches. People used animal fat to preserve these poles, but when exposed to the elements, they rotted in time and needed to be replaced often.
Today, modern flagpoles are typically made from aluminum or fiberglass. Both of these types of poles come in a wide variety of colors and finishes and can keep doing their job for decades. They are lightweight and they give a little in the wind to keep them standing for years to come.
Single Piece or Telescoping
Most people are familiar with single piece flagpoles, which use a halyard system to raise and lower the flag. With this system, a rope runs through a pulley system at the top of the pole, and the flag attaches to the rope with swivel snaps. While it is more traditional, many people complain about the noise created when the swivel snaps clang against the flagpole. Additionally, maintenance and repairs on this type of system can be very difficult and expensive. For example, if the pulley system has a failure, a bucket truck may be needed to allow the owner to get to the top of the flagpole to repair the broken part(s).
With a telescoping flagpole, there’s no need for a rope/halyard system. Instead, the owner can raise and lower the flag simply by telescoping the flagpole up or down. Additionally, the flags are usually attached to a swivel ring and spring clip system on the flagpole, so there’s no clanging against the flagpole like there is with the halyard system. Moreover, maintenance and repairs are much easier and less costly because the top of the flagpole can be lowered instead of having to rent a bucket truck to get to the top of the flagpole. Telescoping flagpoles can also withstand the same winds as a single piece pole. The key things to look at when evaluating a telescoping flagpole’s wind abilities are the diameter of the pole at the base, the gauge (wall thickness) of the aluminum at the base, and how the pole locks into place at the joints. Internal, cam-lock systems are the most secure locking system at the joints.
Color & Finish
The look of your flagpole may be important to you and what you decide is based on personal preference. Flagpoles can come in many colors. The most popular colors are silver, bronze, black, and white. You might want to choose one that matches the trim of your house or possibly the color of your fencing.
The most common types of finishes on flagpoles are powder coating, painting, or anodizing. We recommend an anodized finish, as they are less susceptible to scratching or chipping. With the anodized finish, the color of your pole is essentially “baked” into the aluminum. This leaves a very smooth finish that will last a long time.
Another thing to consider when purchasing a flagpole is how many flags you want to fly. Of course, the American flag should always be flown highest according to the United States Flag Code. You may also want the capacity to fly a second flag (i.e., state, military, sports, or other). Before purchasing a telescoping flagpole, always check how many flags the flagpole can hold. Most can accommodate two flags, but some do not. Taller telescoping flagpoles (i.e., 25’) might even be able to accommodate a third flag.
The typical height for a residential flagpole is 20’. In some cases, you may want to go lower, or higher. Reasons you may want to go lower (i.e., 15’) include: 1) You have a single story home on a small piece of land, or 2) You have an HOA restriction, or 3) You need a lighter flagpole to telescope up and down. Alternatively, you may want to get a taller flagpole (i.e., 25’) if: 1) You have a two or three story home, or 2) You are on a ½ acre or larger piece of land and the flagpole will be set away from the house, or 3) You just want the tallest flagpole in the neighborhood!
In addition to height considerations, you also have to think about sightlines. If you have a lot of trees on your property, you’ll want to make sure there is enough room to place the flag in front of them. You want to be able to fly it where it can be seen, and where it can fly proudly.
Often, people choose to put a flagpole closer to the street than to the home itself. This is basic landscape design — people usually plant taller trees further from the house, and smaller bushes right up against it to draw people’s eyes to the door. This type of placement can give your flag a chance to be seen more easily by passersby.
On the other hand, a flagpole can look very nice closer to the house. However, don’t set it up too close; a flag will quickly develop wear and tear if it touches the roof or nearby branches. Remember to place it far enough away that it is not touching anything when the wind is blowing in any direction.
The same considerations go for utilities. You don’t want your flag touching any electrical wires or it will soon disintegrate and may also affect the electricity coming into your house. In the worst-case scenario, this could cause a fire. Take special care to keep your flag far away from power lines. Moreover, ALWAYS call 811 (in most areas) before you dig your flagpole hole. They will come check your designated spot for the flagpole to make sure there are no utility lines in the ground.
Wind Speed Rating
Wind speed rating is also an important factor. You don’t want your flagpole to fall over in high winds. If you live near the shore or on the open plains, then the strength of your flagpole in extremely windy conditions is significant to know.
This link will show you the average wind speeds across the United States since 1950. Use this information to cross-reference with wind speed ratings on the flagpoles you are considering.
Wave That Flag
Now that you know everything you need to know about flagpoles, it’s time to buy one. Soon you will be flying your favorite flags on your property.
At Flagpole Farm, we offer durable and dependable Titan Telescoping Flagpoles that will last you years to come. We also offer all kinds of flags for any interest our customers have.
Check out our site today, and start waving that flag right away!