Shopping for a flagpole might seem like an easy task, but there are actually many choices that bear consideration. The material the pole is made from, its height, its ease of use, and even its ultimate location should all be factors in making the best purchase. To begin with, there are two basic types of flagpoles: ground flagpoles and wall mounts.
Ground Flagpoles: These are commonly available in heights of 15 to 100 feet (4.5 to 30.5 meters) and are installed one of two ways. It is either embedded permanently in the ground, or a permanent cement base holds a sleeve for the pole, which can be removed. These flagpoles are used both commercially and privately.
The most important considerations for ground flagpoles have to do with their appearance, construction and durability. A fiberglass pole is made to bend with the wind for dramatic effect. These are most often seen in commercial locations, such as industrial parks or car dealerships. Fiberglass poles might not fly national flags, but rather colorful 'wind flags' for attention or company logo flags.
Residential ground flagpoles are normally aluminum, resistant to rust and weather, and have little wind sway. These are also available in assorted baked enamel finishes, including white, bronze, and other optional coatings. The thickness of the flagpole wall should increase with height to withstand wind. If your locale is known for high winds, you'll want to invest in a pole with a thicker wall.
Among ground flagpole models, there are sectional poles and telescoping poles. Both are aptly named after their respective designs. Sectional flagpoles are assembled by slipping each section into the next, with locking buttons that snap each piece into place. This type of pole uses a halyard or ropes to raise and lower the flag.
A telescoping ground flagpole extends, one section from the next, like a telescope. The top is tapered from the base. One of the advantages of this design is that it does not use a halyard or ropes to raise and lower the flag. There are no lines to clang, twist, or replace.
The flag is attached to a built-in non-rusting harness on the uppermost end of the telescoping flagpole. This type of pole also supports a second flag at half-mast. To lower the flag, you simply allow the mast to slowly slide down into its outermost sleeve. To ease the motion, these flagpoles are made with smooth, weatherproof, enamel finishes.
Wall Mount Flagpoles: Wall mount flagpoles can be hung off your house, balcony, building, or boat. The most important consideration here is length. The pole should be long enough so that the flag will not flap against shrubs, wood, windows, rigging, or other obstacles. If the flag can hit nearby objects, this will significantly shorten its life.
Mounts come in many designs for a myriad of applications. Deck mounts can be vertical for mounting on the facing board of the deck, or horizontal for mounting on the corner of a railing or wall. Outrigger mounts accommodate various boating applications. Wall mount flagpoles come in standard lengths of 5 to 8 feet (1.5 to 2.5 meters), though other sizes might be available.
To match a flag size to your pole, consider that the length of the flag should be about one-third to one-quarter the length of the pole. For example, a 15 to 20 foot (4.5 to 6 meter) ground flagpole would fly 3x5' (1x1.5m) flags. Crowning decorations for the top of a flagpole are optional, though some poles come with a gold ornament or eagle.