Is there any better way to showcase your patriotism than flying a flag outside of your home or building? Virtually every country and culture on Earth have used flags to illustrate their country’s greatness. Countries as far-ranging as Jordan to Turkmenistan all feature flagpoles several hundred feet high to show off their national pride.
That also gives you an idea of how disparate flag and flagpoles can be. Like the flagpole outside of the Acuity Insurance building, installed by Mortenson, which weighs 420,000 pounds and is 400 feet tall.
Obviously, you’re not likely to need to put up a flagpole weighing 210 tons. There’s still both an art and a science to installing a flagpole.
We’re going to show you how you can install your own flagpole kit.
How To Install A Flagpole Kit
Not everything will be the same from one flagpole installation to the next. Maybe you’ve chosen a metal flagpole kit. Perhaps you’ve selected a flagpole made of walnut. After you’ve selected a flagpole from someplace like Titan Products, you can follow the following steps to install your flagpole. If something isn’t pertinent, just skip along to the next step.
What You’ll Need
While there may be some variation depending on what kind of flagpole kit you choose, this list of equipment is fairly consistent for flagpole installation.
First, you’ll need the tools for digging the hole to plant your flagpole. For this, you’ll want a post hole digger and spade. You don’t want to dig your whole hole with just a spade, as that can be strenuous work as well as time-consuming. You’ll also need a wheelbarrow to cart the earth away once you’ve dug your hole.
Next, you’ll need all of the tools necessary for measuring and cutting your flagpole, if you’re using wood. A sawzall should be more-than-adequate to do the trick. You’ll also need to have a utility knife on hand for cutting rope.
Then you’ll need some materials for preparing the concrete. First, you’ll need a bag of Quikrete and a bag of dry sand for securing the flagpole once the post is planted. You’ll also need a bucket and a water source. You may want an additional bucket to mix your Quikrete in or you could also use the wheelbarrow you used to move the earth you removed from your hole. You’ll also want a trowel for laying down the Quikrete smoothly.
Finally, you’ll need some tools for general odds and ends. A level comes in handy to make sure your flagpole is straight and your concrete is smooth. You’ll need a screwdriver, hammer, and tape measure as well. You may also want a set of Allen wrenches handy in case the hardware calls for them. You’ll want some electrical tape to secure the knot and a few wooden shims to keep your flagpole steady, once your flagpole’s installed.
Choosing The Right Flagpole
Choosing the right flagpole is going to ultimately be up to you. There are a wide array of different styles to choose from. Whereas wood was once a popular choice for flagpoles, aluminum and fiberglass are particularly popular nowadays. They’re also available in an assortment of colors, so you’ll have even more options to choose from.
Choosing the right height for your flagpole is going to be up to you, as well. If you’re installing your flagpole near a building, you can use that structure as a guideline for your flagpole’s height. A one-story building can have a flagpole between 25 – 30 feet. A two-story building could range from 30 – 50 feet. Anything three stories or taller should be 30 to 40 feet.
You’ll also want to give some thought if you want the rope to be internal or external. There are internal and external halyards available.
You’ll also want to consider the wind resistance of your area when choosing a flagpole. Flagpoles generally have two ratings – one for when the flag is flying and one for when it’s not. You’ll mostly want to pay attention to the first rating unless you’re planning on taking down the flag during every heavy windstorm.
Choose The Right Location
The most important aspect of choosing the right location for your flag is that it’s free from any trees, buildings, and power lines. Placing the flagpole immediately to the side of a building’s entrance is a popular location for a flagpole, as it enjoys excellent visibility yet is unlike to run into anything.
If you have a horseshoe or circular driveway in any regard, the center is also a popular, attractive place to plant your flagpole kit.
Remember to keep the future growth of any nearby trees in mind as well, as you want your flagpole to last the test of time. You’ll also want to be aware of any plumbing, septic, gas, or electrical lines running nearby as you wouldn’t want to puncture anything once you start to dig.
Rigging And Installing Your Flagpole
Before you begin to dig, you’ll want to check and make sure it’s safe to do so. Check the local guides to find out who to consult to make sure there are no pipes or wires that will be disrupted once you break ground.
Now it’s time to dig the hole for your flagpole. The rule is your hole needs to be 1′ deep by 1′ wide by 1′ long, or 1 cubic meter, for ever 10′ of height. For a 30′ pole, for instance, you’d need to dig a 3’x3’x3′ hole. If you come across any large stones when you’re digging, you made want to keep them at hand as you can often use them to level your pole sleeve.
Once your hole is dug you’ll want to toss a bit of gravel and sand at the bottom of your hole for the sake of drainage. Now you’ll want to place the pole sleeve in the center of the hole. Now you’ll want to use your level to make sure that your pole sleeve is straight and plumb. Once it is, use the stones you’ve gathered to keep the pole sleeve secure and in place.
Now that your pole sleeve is placed, you’ll need to mix the Quikrete. Following the instructions on the package, you’ll mix the Quikrete either in your wheelbarrow or a bucket. Once it’s mixed, you’ll begin to pour the Quikrete around the pole sleeve. As you do so, you’ll want to monitor the pole sleeve to make sure it stays plumb. This is very important, as otherwise your flagpole could end up leaning.
After you’ve poured the Quikrete, you’ll want to let it sit for 24 hours to let it cure. Once it has, fill the remainder of the hole with Earth.
Now it’s time to prepare your flagpole. Remove it from its packaging and find the hardware included with your flagpole kit.
You’ll begin by attaching the truck to the top of the pole. This will act as a pulley when you’re raising the flag. After you’ve attached the truck, you’ll want to attach the decorative topping for the top of your flagpole. Golden spheres and bald eagles are traditional for American flags.
If you’re installing a flagpole with an external lanyard, you will be given a cleat to attach to the outside of the pole.
Once you’ve attached the hardware, you’ll want to unwrap the rope. Then you’ll thread the rope through the truck. Once you have, you’ll want to tie the ends of the rope together. Use a square knot or some other form of self-tightening knot. Secure the knot with electrical tape once it’s secure.
Now it’s time to raise the flagpole! Depending on how high the pole you’re using is, you may need a crane or boom lift. Anything taller than 25′ may require a crane.
To begin, slide the end of the flagpole into the pole sleeve. Once it’s secure, you can lift the top half of the flagpole. For smaller poles, you can walk them up. For taller poles, once you secure the pole inside the flagpole it should slide into place.
Once your pole is upright, use your level again to make sure your flagpole is plumb. Once it’s level, use the wooden shims to hold the pole in place. Then fill the pole sleeve with dry sand to make sure that your flagpole remains secure.
Congratulations! You’ve just raised your very own flagpole! Now you’re ready to show the world your patriotic spirit!
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