The history of flags and flagpoles is long. In the beginning, a piece of fabric or animal skin was raised to indicate one’s status or political position. It would be tied to a staff or pole so that it would flutter in the wind, catching people’s attention from a distance.
The use of animal skins eventually gave way to painted cloth colors and designs. Today many flags are made of woven cloth. The most common fabric used in flag making is nylon because it is durable and resistant to wind or water.
Flag designs generally follow strict guidelines, especially for national flags. However, there are no rules for the size or shape of a flagpole. Any pole will do.
The earliest flagpoles were carved out of wood and paid no attention to weight ratios. They began as simple sticks with sharply pointed or flat tops, usually ending in a point at one end and having a rounded head at the other. Later, people began to attach a metal top or ornament of some kind to give them added strength and distinction.
The flagpole has become an art form in itself. Flagpoles can be found with various types of tops or ornaments:
Carved wooden balls
Birds or animal heads
Stars of David
Gold or silver
The designs of flagpoles and finials are usually unique to each flag manufacturer. Some may have only a simple gold or silver band around the pole; others may choose an elaborate design for the entire length of the pole. The final itself is made of brass or metal plated with brass, bronze, copper or silver.
The pole is the backbone of the flag display system, and its design must be matched to that of the flag so as not to detract from it while being strong enough to hold both flag and hardware in windy situations. The most commonly used materials for flags are nylon and polyester, which are lightweight and durable.
The flag is a symbol of unity and equality. It represents our country’s values, traditions, history, and culture. A flagpole is an important part of any installation because it holds the flag up high where everyone can see it.