Flag Spacing

Discussion in 'US Flag Display' started by edyspaghetti, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. edyspaghetti

    edyspaghetti New Member

    When flying 2 flags side by side and the wind blows the flags straight out how much distance should be between the first flag and the second pole? Thank you in advance for your assistance.
     
  2. SSGCARP

    SSGCARP New Member

    Re: Flag etiquete

    I haven't found anything that specifically answers this question. I would determine how far apart to set the poles in this manner. First determine the length of the biggest flag that is to be flown (if there is a size difference). Let's use a 3'x5' flag for example. The length of this flag is 5 feet. In order for the flag to fly straight out and not get wrapped around the adjacent pole or damaged by it we have to place the adjacent pole no less than 5 feet away. Now let's add 1/3rd of the flags length to that measurement bringing it to 6 feet 8 inches. This should guarantee that the flag can't reach the other pole. I would now add 4 more inches to allow for give in the lanyard, especially if at half mast. I would also do this because I like to work with whole increments, in this case feet. Our distance is now 7 feet. Now the last thing to consider is flex in the pole. The longer the pole the more flex you will get and obviously different materials have different amounts of give. So this can be a challenge to figure out. The good news is it is really irrelevant unless the poles are also close to some other solid structure. Two poles made of the identical material and that are the same height should have the same amount of flex when and equal force is applied to both poles. So our final distance is 7 feet.

    2'x 3' flag = 3+1+.33= 4.3' rounded up to 5'. Remember the whole increments thing.

    5'x 8' flag = 8+2.66+.33= 11'
     
  3. SSGCARP

    SSGCARP New Member

    Re: Flag etiquete

    I noticed I misread your question. I figured for the distance between the poles. You asked for the distance between the flag and the other pole. Allow enough room between the flag and the pole so that there is no chance of the flag to get hung up on it. Using the example i gave before there would be 1 foot 8 inches.
     
  4. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

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    The spacing between flagpoles is "usually" best @ HALF their heights.

    WHY ???

    The "Rule Of Thumb" for the ratio of the length of flags to their flagpoles is between 1:4 and 1:3. That is, the length of a flag to its flagpole "should" be between 1/4 and 1/3 of the height of the flagpole. Another way of thinking about it, is that the height of the flagpole "should" be between 3 times and 4 times the length of its "appropriately" sized flag.

    IF the flags flying from the poles are between 1/4 and 1/3 the height of the poles, then the spacing BETWEEN the poles "should" be approximately 1/2 their height. That way the flags will have plenty of room to "fly" freely!

    EXAMPLE 1 : 20' flagpoles would "normally" be flying 3'x5' flags (1/4) or 4'x6' flags (1/3), so the spacing between poles should be 10'.

    EXAMPLE 2 : THREE flagpoles with the two outside poles being 25' tall and the center one being 30'. Use half the height of the CENTER (tallest) pole as the spacing between poles. While the outside poles "should" be flying 4'x6' (1/4) or 5'x8' (1/3) flags, the center flagpole's Flag could be a 5'x8' (1/4), 5'x9.5' (1/3), or a 6'x10' (1/3) one. So 15' of pole separation would be more than enough. Heck, even 12.5' of flagpole separation would be "OK".

    Another, perhaps simpler, way of determining the spacing between flagpoles is to simply double the length of the flags most commonly flown from them. 3'x5' flags = 10' spacing, 4'x6' flags = 12' spacing, 5'x8' flags = 16' spacing, etc.



    Robin Hickman
    Eugene, Oregon, USA
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  5. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

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    I was asked in a "Private Message" from another USA-Flag-Site Forum Member where I found the information about flagpole spacing as they were unable to find any information about it.

    I need to clarify my "source" of the information and apologize.

    I was expressing my own "personal opinion" on the subject based on what I thought would keep the Flags from "harm", have relatively easy to remember measurements, and the reasons why.

    I apologize for any confusion that I might have caused. :eek:

    I originally wrote, "The spacing between flagpoles is "usually" best @ HALF their heights." I should have included a clarifying phrase such as, "In my opinion". Unfortunately, I relied on the quotation marks surrounding the word "usually" to signify an unofficial clarification as to the source.

    As far as I know, there is/are NO OFFICIAL flagpole spacing criterium. That doesn't necessarily mean that there AREN'T any, it just means that I don't KNOW of any.

    IN MY PERSONAL OPINION, while it is important that Flags should be allowed to "fly freely" (without hinderance or obstruction) and safely, when it comes to multiple flagpole installations, the placing and spacing of the flagpoles is "usually" a matter of available space and visual aesthetics (what "looks good").

    It is still my "personal opinion" that for the flags' fly-ability and safety, the spacing between multiple flagpoles "should" be (at a minimum) either half the height of the flagpoles, or twice the length of the flags normally flown from them.

    While I've seen numerous multiple flagpole installations, I do NOT recall ever seeing any that were so close together that the flag on one pole was whipping against another in a windy condition.


    Again, in my previous posting I was expressing my own personal opinion and NOT quoting from any "official" or "authoritative" source on the subject.


    I apologize for any confusion I might have caused ! :eek:


    Robin Hickman
    Eugene, Oregon, USA
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  6. SSGCARP

    SSGCARP New Member

    I like the info that Robin provided. It is much easier to figure out and keeps the flag, pole and spacing in proportion with each other. This method would also produce a display that may be more aesthetically pleasing also.

    I did some more searching using different criteria. I was able to find a couple of sights that gave some insight. One sight http://www.gettysburgflag.com/flag_pole_ratio.php stated, " The length of the flag should be at least 1/4 the height of the pole." And has I nice chart for matching flag to pole. I noticed that the flag length to pole length ratios stayed near 1:4 and 1:3 to flag size to pole length, as Robin also suggested. Another sight www.heroldflags.com/poles.htm gave this suggestion:

    "Space. Poles in a grouping need plenty of room between each pole so the flags do not hit the other poles, causing excessive wear. Also flags look better and more dignified if they have plenty of their own space, rather than crowded together. We recommend about 1/2 to 3/4 (or more) of the height of the poles as spacing between the poles, or 1.5 to 2 times the full length of the flags."

    Parts of this also concur with Robin's suggestion (smart man).

    Just a side note. I went back and compared my distances to those suggested by Robin and these sights. I found that is was very close to having the same measurements when using the 1:3 flag to pole ratio and taking half of that pole's length.

    Finally since nothing is in the flag code for this it falls to one's best judgment and space available.
     
  7. SSGCARP

    SSGCARP New Member

    Attempt #2 first post of this message is lost in cyberspace.

    I really like and have used the method Robin Hickman posted. It is very easy to calculate and presents an aesthetically pleasing display.

    I did some more searching on this after seeing Robin's post, which gave a little more direction to the search. I was still unable to find any set standard :( I did however run across a couple of sights, that each in part, gave the same suggestions as Robin. (Smart man)

    What I was trying to convey was the minimum distance that I would allow flags to be from another pole. There being a limited area situation. It is in no way "The standard". It is neither right nor wrong. The only "wrong way" that I can think of, as far as pole spacing, would be one that allows the flag to hit another object. This would cause undue wear. Since there is no "Standard", one must use their better judgment.

    Just a side note. I went back and compared the measurements in my first post to the half pole height method. If you are using a flag pole ratio of 1:3 and only round up, so you get more space, the measurements are very close.
     
  8. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

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    Hey, SSGCARP ! :D

    GREAT find on the HeroldFlags.com info. I didn't know they existed, NOR did I know that there was someone "out there" who attempted to put together some guidelines for flagpole placements! I kind of thought that there "might" be someone out there, but I did NOT know for sure!

    There are other threads in Forums on this site (maybe even THIS one!) about flagpole placement, designs, heights, finials, materials, etc. But I don't remember if the subject of their "spacing" has come up or not. I'd like to think that someone, somewhere, had mentioned it in passing sometime or other!


    Gotta GO !!! :eek:


    Robin Hickman
    Eugene, Oregon, USA
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  9. SSGCARP

    SSGCARP New Member

    Robin,

    When I was doing my searching I did have one search result that mentioned using half the length of the pole for pole offset. When I followed the result it came to this forum. The poster that mentioned this method was...drum role please... ROBIN HICKMAN.

    This should be added to the Flag Code. There would have to be provisions for limited space conditions (outside) and for inside arrangements also (centered, equally spaced). It would serve as a great guide.

    Thoughts?
     
  10. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

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    Oh, My! :eek:

    That is TOO funny !!! :D


    CAUTION : Just because Google found it doesn't the answer "right" or me "smart" !!! :D


    Robin "Help! I've Been Kidnapped By GOOGLE!" Hickman
    Eugene, Oregon, USA
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