For organizations like schools, businesses, and municipalities, flying an American flag, along with flags for their state, city, or the organization itself (see the etiquette for displaying flags here), in front of their building is a great way to demonstrate patriotism and catch the eyes of people passing by. But if you’re looking to install a flagpole, what are your best options?
For in-ground flagpoles, there are many factors that can influence the decision of which type of flagpole is best for your municipality, business, or school. Here are a few things that you’ll need to consider:
There are two options for materials for your flagpole: aluminum or fiberglass. While the decision between these options mostly comes down to personal preference, there are a few differences to consider. While both are strong, aluminum tends to be a stronger material. Aluminum flagpoles also come in a wider range of sizes and different finishes, but fiberglass flagpoles are the only type which are available in white.
Internal vs. External Halyard
Another decision factor the choice between an internal or external halyard. An internal halyard flagpole hides the rope inside the flagpole. Generally, internal halyard flagpoles are more expensive, since they offer a few benefits over the external halyard option. These benefits include:
- Security – Access to the halyard is under lock and key.
- Reduced noise – When a flag is flying, the metal snap hooks do not hit the flagpole.
On the more traditional external halyard flagpole, the rope is on the outside of the pole and is tied onto the cleat. If security is a concern, accessories are available that will allow you to keep your flags from being tampered with.
Other Structures on the Property
It’s important to consider the height of your building or other structures on the property where you will be installing the flagpole. The flagpole shouldn’t look out of place next to other structures nearby. The most common flagpole heights are 25-35 feet, but other sizes are available if the flagpole needs to fit alongside a taller building, nearby sculptures, or any other structures that may affect the way it is displayed.
When a flagpole is made, it is tested to determine the maximum flag size and wind conditions for safe installation. These maximum wind allowances are determined for two different scenarios: when a flagpole is flying a flag (flagged) and when it is not flying a flag (unflagged). Since you will likely fly a flag on most days, it is best to focus on flagged wind allowances.
The map below displays the maximum steady wind expected in different locations within the United States:
As you can see, a 90 mph wind speed is a good number to estimate for the majority of the country. Determining the potential wind in your area will help you determine which pole is right for your location. If you are located near open water and hurricanes occur relatively frequently, you may want to consider the Hurricane Flagpole Series, which is specifically designed to withstand extremely high wind conditions.
In any given geographical area, there are areas which may have higher wind gusts than others. This is another factor to consider when determining the flagpole you need. Flagpoles in an open area, near bodies of water or highways, or on top of a building are going to experience higher wind gusts than in areas with many trees or areas that are blocked by large objects like walls, buildings, bridges, etc. Planning for this wind allowance will ensure that your flagpole is able to stand up to the expected conditions in its location.
Depending on the size of the flagpole and the equipment available, you can either install it yourself or hire a professional to do so. If you’re interested in our flagpole installation services, please contact us.
As you can see, there are many factors in deciding which flagpole is right for your situation. Considering each of these factors along with your personal preferences will help you determine which flagpole you want to see every day. At A Stars & Stripes Flag Corporation, we have over 35 years of experience helping determine which option is right for you. Do you have any other questions about flagpoles or flags? Please contact us; we’re happy to help!