Choosing a Flag Pole
Fist you have to decide what type of pole you want and how high you want it on your building.
In open areas, there is usually more wind so you want a heavier duty flag pole (gauge/thickness) to be able to hold up to those conditions. Flag poles are rated for the pole having the flag on and of.
Flagpoles are purchased to serve a particular function. Organizations such as car dealerships, government buildings, colleges or universities, or even professional organizations like a sports franchise will want their flagpole to make a statement. Even some rural areas are good environments for larger flagpoles ranging from 50 to over 100 feet tall. A flagpole should be installed at one of these locations should be a prominent fixture and will need to be tall and sturdy. Flagpoles purchased for a warehouse, a private office building, or even some rural homes will need to integrate into their environment more than a statement pole. These types of poles will typically range from 30 to 50 feet depending on the other factors. Other locations may even need a smaller flagpole.
After deciding what height and composition your flagpole should be, next you need to figure out what features your flagpole should have. Today flagpoles are fitted with two types of rope, or halyard to fly your flag. An external halyard is a rope looped up over a pulley system, called a truck. To fly a flag, you simply attach the flag to the halyard and pull the end of the rope down from the pulley, which in turn, raises the flag. Once the flag has reached the top you simply tie the halyard to a cleat, which holds it in place so your flag will remain at the top of your flagpole. The biggest drawbacks to an external halyard system are weather and vandalism.
External halyards are typically polypropylene rope, which in time will corrode from the elements, and will need to be replaced. Additionally, an external halyard is susceptible to vandalism. Anyone who can reach the cleat, which is mounted around four or five feet from the base of the pole, can cut the halyard, or lower your flag and steal it. An internal halyard is a safer and more weather resistant alternative, although more expensive. An internal halyard is contained within the flagpole. A crank is located inside a lockable box approximately 4 feet from the base of the flagpole. To lower your flag, you simply turn the crank to allow the steel wire (not rope like the external halyard) to rise up to the truck. This wire is looped over the pulley and then falls on the outside of the pole to hold the flag. As the wire is raised, the flag is lowered on the outside of the pole. The only drawback with this system is the difficulty in changing the halyard if it breaks, but a steel wire should not break in your lifetime.
Other options include a rotating truck, which means when the wind is blowing a certain direction the top of the pole that holds the rope which is called a truck will move in that direction.
The last choice to be made is cosmetic. You can get a pole made from Aluminum, Steel, and Fiberglass.Fiberglass flagpoles can be gel coated to be virtually any color. You may want to select a dramatic color that will stand out, or your selection may match the siding on your house, depending upon your desired flagpole function.We suggest people use Aluminum because of its heavy duty product, many companies make interchangeable parts for these poles and they don’t rust like steel. Aluminum flagpoles generally come standard with a satin or brushed finish. The finish is slightly susceptible to the elements and may need to be cleaned with special chemicals. A process called anodization is used to coat the flagpoles with a color if you desire an alternative. Because anodization is a chemical reaction, the range of color options is quite small from gold to dark bronze. These colors are beneficial, however. The reaction actually creates a layer on the exterior of the aluminum pole, which will protect the aluminum from any corrosion, as there is no aluminum on the surface of the pole. Flagpoles colored through anodization typically can be cleaned with soap and water.
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