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.
- 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.
- 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.
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