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Introduction: Build Your Own Flagpole
Show support for your country and troops by building this easy flagpole.
Step 1: Buy Hardware
All items can be bought at a major Home Improvement Store.
You will need the following items:
2 – 3/8″x10’6″ 18 Guage Top Rails for Chain Link Fencing.
(You can find these in the garden center)
1 – 1/4″ Braided Nylon Rope. (50ft)
2 – #16 Pipe Clamps
2 – 5/8″ Fast Eye Snaps
1 – 41/2″ Rope Cleat
1 – 1/2 ” Swivel Pulley
1 – Mini Solar Crackle Sphere
Step 2: Attach Hardware
Attach Swivel Pulley to top Galvanized Pole using a pipe clamp. –
Thread rope through pulley. –
Tie Eye Snap to rope using easy knot. –
Take other end of rope and attach eye snap. –
Tie the rope ends together between the Eye Snaps making one continuous circle with the rope. –
Attach Rope Cleat to bottom Galvanized Pole using pipe clamp.
Step 3: Mount Light to Top
Simply drop the Mini Solar Crackle Sphere stake into the top end of the pipe. This light is solar, turns on at night and changes colors. The best part about it is that it only costs $4.00.
Step 4: Raise Old Glory
Slide bottom pole into top pole.
Using post hole diggers, bury flag pole about 3 feet in the ground.
Raise your Flag. Tie rope off on rope cleat.
Pray for wind. Enjoy.
Build Cost – $40.00
Proudly Made In America.
3 People Made This Project!
Did you make this project? Share it with us!
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Home Decor Challenge
Question 2 years ago on Step 4
How can you add a yardarm to this?
Question 3 years ago on Step 2
What size pole and how high
I built the flagpole with a few very minor mods for convenience and to accommodate local soil conditions. My flag has been flying proudly on it for about six months. I’d like to add a POW/MIA flag under the American flag. Do you think the pole could handle that?
Can you raise and lower the flag?
This was a great lead. I modified it to fit my situation.
I have an aluminum pole mast that hung at an angle. It was always getting tangled by the prevailing winds at our house. So the answer was a vertical flagpole. I have long wanted one.
I had a 5′ piece of 1 1/2″ PVC pipe (white), and it had an angle cut on one end. In my front yard there are brick planters. In a corner area I drove the PVC pipe down until it hit something hard. (Rock, bedrock, or . )
I only used one 10′ 6″ pipe, and my aluminum mast (about 5′) fit the swedged end of the rail pipe. (LUCKY ME!)
The solar light I chose fit fine, but I added a short piece of 3/4″ Sch 20 sprinkler PVC to the upright. And I used some Locktite brand Gel super glue to make sure the fixture head stayed on and was glued to the PVC as well. The solar light is a fantastic idea, and I can’t wait for dark to bring it on.
I followed the rope instructions, but hung my pulley from a closed up “S” hook at the top of the pole
Then the flag pole was set into the 1 1/2″ PVC driven into the ground.
Worked good, and no more tangled flag!
OH, and I used bronze harness snaps like this:
I got all my needs at my local Lowe’s, but harness snaps are available at feed stores as well. I just like these type of snaps and have one on my dogs leash, too.
My 4′ X 6′ sown American Made Flag flies beautifully now in the afternoon breeze.
Thanks for this DIY home grown flag pole. And Happy Memorial Day!
I fly my American flag 24/7 because our troops are out there 24/7.
Flagpoles are the standard for displaying our nation’s flag. You can buy a flagpole from a number of different manufacturers or you can build your own. Building a flagpole is easier than you might think. This method requires very little specialized labor.
Build the flagpole
- Buy one 5 foot length each of 1”, 1 ¼”, and 1 ½” diameter galvanized pipe. You will also need one 1 ¼” x 1” galvanized reducing coupling, one 1 ½” x 1 ¼” reducing coupling, and one 1 ½” ips threaded flange. You can buy these materials at your local hardware store or plumbing company. As an alternative, you can purchase one 21’ length of 2” galvanized pipe but you will need to make the base proportionately larger.
- Screw the couplings and lengths of pipe together and screw the threaded flange on the 1 ½” pipe end.
- Obtain a square of ½” or ¾” mild steel plate and have it welded on the flange. Make certain the pole is centered on the steel plate.
- Burn or drill a ½” hole in each corner of the steel plate.
- Paint the steel plate with a good primer and at least one coat of galvanizing.
- Buy the pulley and rope assembly, known as a single pulley truck and halyard, for the top of the flagpole and have it welded in place or buy the type that is bolted in place.
- At this point, you can also install an ornament like an eagle on the top of the pulley truck.
- You can also paint the flagpole with multiple coats of exterior paint at this point, if you wish. An oil based paint will serve you best.
Building your own flagpole is fun and easy
- While you are waiting for the paint on the flagpole to dry, you can start on the base. Choose a location for your flagpole that is suitable and visible.
- Dig a square hole at least 12“ deep and several inches larger all around than your steel base.
- Build a square frame that projects above the ground at least 3 ½”.
- Buy enough cement mix to fill the hole and add water to make a concrete base.
- Pour the cement into the square form and trowel it off.
- Cut a square of ¾” plywood that is larger than the steel base.
- Clamp the plywood to the steel base and drill out the four corner holes.
- Install 4 – 3/8” x 4” or ½” x 4” quick bolts or concrete anchors in the holes in the plywood, locking them in place with nuts and washers on each side of the plywood.
- Press the bolts and plywood into the wet cement and level the plywood with a torpedo level.
Show your patriotism; fly our nation’s flag
- After the cement hardens and cures, remove the plywood.
- Leave the bottom nuts on each bolt the same distance from the surface of the cement.
- Raise the flagpole and install it over the bolts.
- Install washers and nuts.
- Plumb the flagpole in all four directions.
- Attach the flag.
- Play reveille or our national anthem while you raise your new flag.
Check with your local community building and codes division for flagpole ordinances. You can plumb your new flagpole by adjusting the top and bottom nuts on all four bolts at the base.
Learn the rules for properly displaying our nation’s flag.
You can purchase flagpole hardware to make your own flagpole and to replace worn parts or to give your existing flagpole a whole new look. We have quality parts available for you to choose from in a variety of price ranges.
How to Choose the Right Hardware for Your Flagpole
The hardware that you need will depend on the type of flagpole that you have. Internal halyard flagpoles have some different parts than external halyard poles do. External halyard poles are those that have the mechanisms for raising and lowering the flag on the outside of the pole, while internal halyard poles have the mechanisms on the inside. In addition, some of the hardware for different types of poles, such as fiberglass and aluminum, will also be different.
Before purchasing any hardware or decorations, be sure to click on the link for your type of flagpole to ensure that you are purchasing parts that will fit your needs.
Decorative attachments are mounted on the top of the flagpole.
Balls are available from 3 to 12 inches in a variety of spindle threading sizes. These balls are silver satin or gold anodized in color and are made of spun cast aluminum. Whichever you choose, the ball will give your flagpole a nice traditional look.
Eagles are designed to replace the traditional ball on top of your flagpole. These attachments feature an eagle taking off in flight from the top of a round ball and are a very decorative addition for your flagpole. Our eagles are made of cast aluminum and can be purchased in 12 or 24 inch sizes, and gold anodized or natural painted eagle colors.
The hardware listed below is common to both internal and external halyard flagpoles.
The truck is the pulley device that is placed over the top of the pole that the halyard threads through. You will need to purchase the diameter that fits your particular flagpole.
Halyards and Halyard Covers
Halyards are the ropes that are used to raise and lower the flag. The halyards that are used on flagpoles are generally made of either multi-braided nylon, nylon wire cored or stainless steel aircraft cable. As a general rule, the length of your halyard should be twice the height of your flagpole. For example, if your flagpole is 30 feet tall, you will need 60 feet of halyard.
Snaps and Covers
Snaps are connected to the halyard and used to attach your flag. We carry nylon snaps, solid brass, rubber coated, nickel plated zinc and chrome plated swivel snaps as well as stainless steel spring clips in a variety of sizes to suit your needs.
Snap covers are designed to fit over the flag snap. The covers help reduce the noise made from metal snaps clanging against the flagpole when it is windy and help protect the pole’s finish. Our covers are available in gray or brown.
Cleats are metal devices that are attached to the flagpole and used to tie off the ends of the halyard. They are available in a variety of styles so that you can choose the type that will match your flagpole. Cleat covers with locks are also available to help protect against theft of your flag.
Flash collars rest around the bottom of the flagpole and cover your foundation sleeve. The inside diameter of the flash collar must match the diameter of the butt, or bottom, of your flagpole. These are used to help with water runoff and to give your flagpole a finished look.
Foundation sleeves are made of galvanized steel or PVC. The sleeve is designed to be installed in the ground and used to hold the base of the flagpole. The size that you need will depend on the butt size of your pole.
We have all the hardware that you will need to make your own flagpole or replace parts on your existing flagpole. If we do not have the particular item that you are looking for, we will be happy to find it for you. Our experienced flagpole staff is standing by to help you with all of your flagpole needs.
- Expert insights on techniques and principles
- Unbiased tool reviews
- Step-by-step details to master the job
- Field-tested advice and know-how
- Tools & Materials
- FHB House
- Log In
Anyone out there done this? I think I’ve gotten the mechanics of the process down ok, but am still wondering about the wood to us. As I remember, Northern Spruce is usually used for the masts on sailboats, so that would work, except that 30 foot lengths of Spruce are not usually available to me at a price anyone that doesn’t own a sailboat could afford. I’ve laminated lots of wood over the years and would consider that approach. Popular is easily available, long grained and dense, but withstands weather poorly. I plan to lay down several coats of the best epoxie based paint that I can buy, but the strength and resistance of the wood underneith is of great import.
Heres Norms pole.
I’ve watched a neighbour build a laminated mast; really neat. He built up clear cedar around a styrofoam core and then made it round in his driveway by suspending it at each end with a 6″ spike riding in a notch in a sawhorse and his daughter turned it slowly by hand while he used a belt-sander.
DW says he used a draw-knife to rough it round first – I must have missed that part.
The Unionville Woodwright
Edited 5/17/2003 6:22:16 PM ET by Phill Giles
Personally, I just selected the height I wanted, 40 feet, from the selection of 20- to 80-foot spruce trees and trimmed the branches off. The downside is I can’t pivot it down like the man-made ones for service.
I like the foam core idea. Especially on the top part. Leaving the bottom part solid would help the balancing about the pivot point. And I’d leave a few feet around that pivot point solid wood as well.
Take a good look at real flagpoles for dimensions and ratios. It is definitely possible to have one whose strength is fine but looks too stout or too skinny. (I learned that while disguising industrial dischrage stacks as flagpoles in California). A flagpole manfacturer’s website probably has top and bottom diameters for different heights all spelled out already.
IMHO, if you look for flagpole literature, you’ll get schlock – go to the library (or internet) and lookup ship-building: how to build spars, booms, and masts..
The Unionville Woodwright
A place in New England has been making them out of doug fir for years. No laminations, just solid stock. Planers and drawknives and sanding to get the stock round and tapered.
Another makes them out of solid cedar snags taken out of the woods.
A coat of epoxy, then three coats of marine white paint.
For a wood pole, a hinged base is a neccessity.
Anyhoows, here’s a page from Architechtural Graphic Standards. Some info on sizing the pole, entasis, size of flag to size of pole, etc. Couldn’t make the file too small due to the fine print.
- Ask Tim
Be patriotic. Display an American Flag at your home. CLICK THE PHOTO OF THE FLAG NOW AND HAVE ONE DELIVERED TO YOUR HOME IN DAYS.
I wrote the column about flagpoles as a result of the tragic September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on our country. Within days of the events, I was flooded with emails from people just like you who were flush with renewed patriotism.
I think it is wonderful and am so happy that so many people have decided to install a flag pole to fly Old Glory.
“Both Buildings Are Going to Collapse”
Firefighting happens to be a hobby of mine. The morning of the attack my wife frantically called down to my office and told me to come upstairs and look at the live TV coverage.
I knew that firefighters were rushing to the scene and I knew they were going into both buildings to rescue people and try to extinguish the fires. But I also knew something else.
I knew both Trade Center Buildings were going to collapse. I said that within a minute of seeing the rerun of the video of the second plane striking the second World Trade Center building.
The structural steel that supports the buildings was severely damaged. Load bearing columns were ripped out by the planes. Other columns had the fireproofing material scraped off. It was just a matter of time before the steel would soften and collapse under the weight of the floors above.
But yet, I knew that firefighters and police officers were climbing the stairs knowing the same thing. They were in a race trying to cool the steel before the collapse would happen. As we know, they lost both races. And we lost hundreds of heroes.
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Some Flagpole Facts
The wind exerts a very strong force on flags. Simply hold up a flag on a windy day and you will see what I mean.
This means that poles need to be sized for the wind speed and for the size of the flag(s) to be flown on the pole. Tall poles need to be large diameter to offset the pull of the wind.
Be sure to match your flag to the size of the pole you buy or make. Most good flag pole manufacturers have sizing charts to help you do this.
Here’s a telescoping flag pole. It’s perfect for most homes. CLICK THE PHOTO NOW TO HAVE THIS DELIVERED TO YOUR HOME IN DAYS.
In-Ground Pole Drainage
If you decide to do a ground-set pole be aware that the sleeve needs to be able to freely drain collected rain and ground water. If it can’t do this, then the pole may rust away over time.
The danger is that the pole can weaken over time and blow over and hurt you or someone else. You can minimize corrosion by making sure the pole is not surrounded by water.
Cut slots in the bottom of any pole sleeve. Set the sleeve on a metal plate and have it welded if possible.
This sleeve sits on a poured concrete footer. Before you pour the concrete that holds the sleeve in place, pour three inches of washed gravel on top of the footer. This is done after the sleeve is in place.
Any water that goes down around the pole drains into the sleeve, exits the sleeve through the slots and then passes through the gravel to the soil. The concrete is simply poured on top of the gravel and it will not clog the gravel passageways. This drainage is very important. Don’t overlook it as you build the foundation for your pole.
Homemade Flagpole Parts
If you are on a tight budget there is no reason why you can’t make a pretty nice flagpole on your own. The most challenging parts to get are the truck (flagstaff cap) that sits on top of the pole and the sleeve that is placed in the ground. In reality, only the sleeve may present a problem for you.
Different Truck Designs
The truck I saw that works perfectly for a homemade flagpole was sold at a local flag shop in Cincinnati, OH called Flaggs U.S.A.
At this store, I held in my hand a cast aluminum truck that would fit perfectly over the end of a 2 inch diameter galvanized iron pipe.
The cost was about $20.00. If you decide to look at other truck assemblies, you must determine if they fit inside a tube or over the end of the tube.
It makes a big difference! The ones that fit inside a pipe or tube must fit very snugly or you will have all sorts of problems. The one that I saw has mounting bolts that you tighten around the outside of the flagpole pipe. Once tight, the truck will not move on top of the pole. The manufacturers listed below also sell truck parts.
In the column about flagpoles , I tell you to make a sleeve with a steel plate base. This makes it easy to install the sleeve but the plate is not necessary.
You simply need a pipe sleeve that has an inner diameter slightly larger than the outer diameter of the flagpole pipe. This pipe can rest on the concrete footer at the bottom of the hole.
The challenge is to keep it plumb as you pour the concrete. One method is to tap a slightly oversize square peg into the end of the sleeve. This peg can stick up about a foot or so.
Then extend two pieces of wood over the hole in the shape of the letter X that are nailed to the square peg. Drive stakes into the ground and nail the X pieces to the stakes once the sleeve is plumb.
The flagpole has taken on many forms, from a simple de-branched tree to ornate metal piping with elaborate scrollwork. You can make your own flagpole with materials available at your local home improvement center.
Step 1 – Measure the Bucket Height
Measure the bucket height with the tape measure. Mark the same height up from the bottom of the PVC pipe.
Step 2 – Wrap the Pipe
Wrap the bottom of the PVC pipe up to the mark with plastic wrap. Secure the plastic wrap with tape. Cover the wrap with petroleum jelly; make sure you cover the whole surface area of the plastic wrap. You must cover all the plastic so you can easily pull the pole out from the cement.
Step 3 – Mix the Cement
Follow the manufacturer’s directions to mix the concrete cement. Once you have thoroughly mixed it, fill the 5-gallon bucket with 2 inches of concrete. Let it sit for a short time, then place the plastic-wrapped end of the PVC pipe into the 2-inch layer of concrete. Use the level to make sure the pipe stands straight when you place it in the concrete.
Step 4 – Pour in More
While you hold the PVC pipe straight, get a helper to pour in more quick-drying concrete about halfway up. Do not fill the bucket completely with concrete because it will become too heavy for you to easily move. The concrete will dry quickly, so hold the pole straight until it can stand on its own. Make sure the pole is level before the concrete hardens too much to allow the pole to move.
Step 5 – Allow Drying Time
Let the concrete dry overnight to make sure it hardens properly. Remove the PVC pipe from the concrete. It will come out easily if you applied the petroleum jelly properly. You may decorate or paint the flagpole to give it a more personal look. Allow adequate drying time before you replace the pole in the cement.
Step 6 – Attach the Rope Cleat
You should position the rope cleat about halfway up the flagpole. Drill pilot holes before you attach the cleat with screws. Make sure the holes are set evenly so the cleat sits balanced.
Step 7 – Place Wood Insert
Place the wood insert inside the PVC pipe so it sits flush with the opening at the top. Attach the pulley to the wood insert using some heavy-duty eye screws.
Step 8 – Thread the Rope
Once you have attached the pulley firmly, thread the flag rope through it and attach the flag hooks. You are now ready to locate the flagpole in your yard and fly your flag proudly. You may need to use a hand truck to move your flagpole to your selected location.
- How To Install a Flagpole – Helpful Videos
- Flagpole Types / Flagpole Models
- Flags, Flagpole Parts, Flagpoles – Product Information
- Aluminum Flagpole Wind Load Chart
- Flagpole Maintenance – How To Videos
- Flag Stories
- American Flagpole Installation PDFs
- American Flagpole Care and Maintenance
- American Flagpole Warranty Information
We just like people who fly flags! Our goal is to help you manage your flag display so it is an easy and enjoyable experience. Flag Desk is not only a comprehensive catalog but also a resource for all your flag needs.
How to Re-String a Flagpole and Tie Halyard
One of our most popular videos! This reviews basic care and maintenance as well as how to replace the rope on a standard commercial external halyard flagpole.
Replacing your flagpole rope, attaching swivel snap hooks and covers is probably the biggest maintenance you’ll ever do if you have a standard, external halyard flagpole (exposed ropes). It’s not difficult, unless you make it difficult. When we first set out to look at flagpoles across the country, we were so set in our ways as to how a flag should be flown, we didn’t realize others might do it differently.
How to replace halyard (rope)?
In this video, we take you through the details of replacing flagpole rope. We couldn’t possibly cover everything. For example, there are many different kinds of rope. Some a rated for outdoor use, some not. Some are rated for long-term outdoor exposure and others are not. Even if you have an outdoor suited durable piece of rope, you may live by salt water and that could change things a bit. The most important thing, is to make sure the diameter of the rope does not exceed the acceptable diameter of the pulley at the top of the flagpole. Use the flagpole finder to find your flagpole pulley size.
You’ve gotten the correct size/make rope. Now you have to collect a few supplies to perform the task. All you need is:
Set of Rope Cutters Tape (Duct Tape or Electrical)
Once you have all your equipment and rope on hand, you need to take the flag down, tie off the halyard at the cleat so the original rope knot to accessible. Tie off the halyard so when you cut the rope, the old rope doesn’t run up and off the pulley at the top. Cut the rope with the cutters at the knot (above and below). Here is the tricky part. You need to tape the two ends together (old and new) so that there is no change or little change in rope diameter. Test the rope strength by pulling on both sides of the tape. If it is relatively strong, you can hoist the new rope by pulling on the old.
Now that you have the new rope through the pulley, it is time to tie the knot. We like the Triple Fisherman’s Knot. It is secure, has a safety, and has a clean look. Here are the 10 steps to tying a fisherman’s knot.
- Take the two end of the rope and overlap them. Start on one side.
- Wrap the rope around the other end of rope and your thumb, toward you three times.
- Pull out your thumb and pass the rope through the center where your thumb was. Tighten to show a slip knot with three loops. Take up slack.
- Perform the same process for the opposite end, turning the rope around (or 180º).
- Tighten the opposite end and take up slack.
- Then, with two sets of three loops (two slip knots), pull the ends of the rope, outside the knot, bringing the two slip knots together. Make sure the knots are firmly together.
- Finish the loose ends by taping them to the rope.
How to attach swivel snap hooks (flag clips) to rope?
We have found, putting the swivel snap hooks on rope is best to use the knot as a reference point. This makes rough measurement for the distance of the swivel snap hooks easier.
For example, if you are flying a 5 x 8 ft. flag, you can generally measure two and a half (2 1/2) ft. above the knot, attach a swivel snap, then measure two and a half (2 1/2) ft. below the know and attache the second swivel snap. (For flags with more than two attachment points, you can place the know higher, between the first and second grommet or thimble.)
Note: This also places the knot between the hoist of the flag. If for some reason, years down the road, the knot gives out, the hoist will act as a safety and you can still replace your halyard without having to go to the top of your flagpole. Rope is very cheap. It is better to replace it more often than to have it fail. The rope may last monger, but we recommend replacing it every two to four years. Although, even that really varies.
Oddly, tying a swivel snap hook to halyard doesn’t require tying at all. In fact, you are doing your parts a disservice if you tie the swivel snap hook to the rope and will have to replace the entire system more often. Not to mention you will loose flexibility. The swivel snap hook is designed with a clip-end and eye-lit. The eye-lit is designed large enough for the rope to be pinched and run through (see the diagram).
Once you have that, you can pull the loop over the clip-end. Then tighten the rope so the halyard is snug around the eye-lit. This allows the snap to be adjustable to best fit the hoist of the flag. If you want to fly a different size flag later, you can adjust it accordingly.
For snap covers, you pinch the rope. Pass it through both the narrow end of the cover as well as the eye-lit of the swivel snap hook. Pull the loop over the clip-end and tighten. Same adjustable results.