House Flag Display

Discussion in 'US Flag Display' started by Geri E., May 24, 2015.

  1. Geri E.

    Geri E. New Member

    DSC03655.JPG DSC03661.JPG I want to get my first house flag and would appreciate some specific advice. When I initially googled I hadn't anticipated so many options...then I found your site and read several posts! I'd like to mount a bracketed pole from our front porch and our house is quite small, so I'm thinking the 3'x5' would be too big. Will someone(s) please narrow down the overwhelming options and suggest a specific flag, pole, bracket, & whatever else you'd get if the pictured home were your own? For scale reference, the opening at the top of the stairs, between the two dark posts, is 55". Thanks so much!
  2. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    Hello, Geri E., and Welcome to the USA-FLAG-SITE Forum!

    A 3'x5' Flag may, or may not, be "too big". What size flag you fly and where you fly pretty much depends on how big your flag is, how long the flagpole is, where your pole bracket is, and which way it is facing. To a lesser extent (or maybe not) your placement might depend on whether or not you'll be flying your Flag 24/7 (with a light shining on it at night), or just during the day, seven days a week, or ONLY on holidays.

    It looks like your front porch is fairly close to the sidewalk, so perhaps the "safety" of your Flag & pole should also be considered. Depending on your neighbors and your neighborhood, and the "types" of people passing by on the sidewalk, sometimes having an American Flag hanging out in reach of the sidewalk can prove to be a little too big of a temptation for a "patriotic" Flag thief to resist... If you know what I mean!

    "Home" flagpoles are usually 5', 6', 0r sometimes 7' long. They can be 3/8", 1/2", 3/4", 1", or 1 ¼" in diameter. The "skinnier" ones (less than 1") are lightweight, and usually made of stamped aluminum or steel, and bend very easily (NOT good!). The sturdier, longer-lasting ones are either 1" or 1 ¼" in diameter and made of aluminum, steel, or wood. 1" diameter is the most popular. If you don't want to spend a lot of your time unfurling (unwrapping) your Flag from around your pole, get a "spinning" or "spinner" pole, or buy an "un-furling" device or rings for your pole. They are NOT 100% perfect, but they'll help cut down on 90-95% of your Flag wrapping itself around your pole!

    [ NOTE : The longer your flagpole is and the bigger your Flag is, the more "stress" will be placed on your bracket when the wind is blowing. ]

    "Home" flagpole brackets come in many sizes, styles, and are either made of some kind of plastic, or some kind of metal. My advice is to stay away from any and all plastic flagpole brackets and "stamped" steel brackets. They are all WAY too lightweight and flimsy to do the job of holding your Flag & pole upright for any length of time. The kind of flagpole bracket that you NEED is a cast metal bracket: cast Steel, cast Aluminum, or cast Brass. Some are one position (45°), or two position (45° and 90°) brackets. Others are adjustable for a number of angled positions.

    [ NOTE : Brackets do NOT "have to" be mounted on a vertical surface. They can also be mounted on a sloping or horizontal surface. A 45°, 90°, or adjustable angled bracket can work just as well on a horizontal or sloping surface as a vertical one. AND that can give you more options as to where you can place your flagpole! ]

    "Home" sized Flags are "usually" 2'x3', 2½'x4' (30"x48"), 3'x5', or sometimes 4'x6'. The size you choose will probably depend on where and which direction you mount your bracket, and how long your pole is. Judging by the pictures you've provided, I'd think that a 4'x6' flag would be too large, unless it's mounted to the corner post, and facing the driveway.

    So.... SO many options!

    I don't know how, or how often, you use your front porch. If you use, or are planning to use, your front porch a LOT (and a Flag might get in the way), then some of your options will be limited. The options can (may) include the wall of the house on the inside of the porch and its railing so that the Flag would be mostly inside or under the porch's roof. The two ends of the porch. The multiple sides of the three posts, except for the corner post where the downspout is. The horizontal railings between the porch posts. Or even the porch floor near the railings. See?

    If you are going to be flying your Flag 24/7, then you'll want to either have it placed where one of your porch lights can shine on it overnight, get a separate light that that is only for shining on the Flag.

    Also for your consideration about where to place your Flag, is its "safety". I've already covered the possibility of a "patriotic" Flag thief, so basically this would be about avoiding having your flag rub against, or snag, anything near it. Bushes, tree limbs, cables or wires, and, of course, rain gutters!

    Bracket Height - The higher up your bracket is, the higher up your Flag is, making it more "prominent" and easily seen, but (perhaps) harder to reach. The lower down your bracket, the lower down your Flag will be, making it easier to reach, but less prominent and harder to see.

    HEY!!! Another thought just occurred to me! You could also hang your Flag vertically, between two of the porch posts, along the inside edge of your porch's upper beam! The distance between the railing and the beam would show you what the length of your flag should be. If you hung your Flag this way it might not be all that visible up or down the street from you house, BUT..... everybody would sure see it when they're right in front of your house! If you do it this way, then you'll probably not want it hanging in front of your only porch window, right? AND..... With a little brighter bulb in the left-hand porch light, it would/could be illuminated from the rear.

    If you choose to use a bracket & pole, I recommend a 1" inner diameter CAST Aluminum/Steel/Brass bracket, and a 1" spinning flagpole of whatever length that fits. Since you're not quite sure (at this time) where to place your bracket, you might consider an adjustable (multi-position) bracket, so that if you chose to move it to a different position later on, there will be a greater chance of it working in the new location.

    I hope I was able to help you and NOT confuse you (at least, not too much).

    If you have any questions about what I wrote here, or "new" ones, feel free to ask!

    Thank you for bringing your Flag-related question to our Forum!!!

    Robin Hickman

    "Your Friendly Neighborhood Flag Man"
    Eugene, Oregon, USA.
  3. Geri E.

    Geri E. New Member

    Robin, thanks so much for your thoughtful response. Placement: I'm thinking, 1) a vertical mount on the porch's middle vertical post, or 2) on the wall of the home between the porch and the larger window. Yep, thieves are a risk in our neighborhood; one unscrewed and stole our water hose last year...leaving behind the brass splitter - go figure. I'm planning to display our flag on holidays, with the possibility of growing to more often. I'll begin looking at vendors for 1" inner diameter cast metal brackets and a 1" spinning flagpole. One of your other posts mentioned a 13-position adjustable bracket; is that overkill for my porch? What length pole would you recommend for a 2'x3' flag? It's sounds like nylon would be a good choice of material. Grommets or sleeve? We live in Tacoma and don't get much wind here. Thanks again for your help!
  4. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    Hi, Geri !

    I use 3'x5' Flags (with grommets) on my 7' spinning poles on a regular basis. When there is a reason or desire to fly my Flags at half staff, I drop down to 2'x3' Flags (grommets). The Flags are attached to the poles using clear plastic flag rings. The rings have that have "thumb" screws that slip through the grommets and screw all the way through the rings to the pole.

    Only the top/outer "half" of a two-piece spinning flagpole actually spins, and the bottom "half" is static in the bracket. To "half-staff" a smaller Flag, such as a 2'x3' one, you would attach it to the pole just above the joint separating the two halves, so that it would still spin with the upper half and remain unfurled.

    Either Header & Grommets (H&G) or Pole Hem Flags will attach to the Spinning poles. There is a spring-type hook in the upper part where the Flag is hooked to the pole. You would first unscrew the ornamental ball from the end of the flagpole, carefully insert the pole into the pole hem and gently slide the Flag all the way down on it. Then fasten the tab (inside the end of the pole hem) to the spring hook, and screw the ornamental ball (finial) back on the pole. Ta-Da!

    If the long spring hook breaks off, you can still use the pole rings to attach a pole hem Flag to your pole. It's a bit of a tight fit, but it can be done.

    Here at our local Wal*Marts they sell Annin brand Flags. I'm not entirely sure, but they always have one or two types of Flag/flagpole/bracket kits. The cheapest of the cheap (Stay Away!) has a printed poly/cotton Flag, a thin stamped steel tube/pole, and a stamped steel bracket. Not very good at all, but it's only about $9-10. Locally, they also have what appears to be a 1" diameter 4'-5' wood pole, 30"x 48" Flag, and a plastice, two-position bracket for about $20. For $30, you get a two-piece 1" aluminum pole with anti-furling rings (the rings rotate, not the pole), sewn & embroidered Flag, and a two-position metal bracket.

    There are a number of stores that will sell "entry-level" Flags and Flag "kits" (Flag, pole, and bracket) at really, really cheap prices leading up to the Summer "Flag Holidays". I don't know what you can afford, but I do NOT recommend getting an "entry level" flag or Flag Kit UNLESS that's all you can afford.

    Here locally, at some of the "big box" hardware stores (Home Depot, Lowes, etc.) they sell more "upscale" home Flag kits, including some "entry level" in-ground flagpoles. I find them to be a little "pricey", but then I'm not in the market.

    If you'll be flying your Flag just on "Flag Holidays", you can place your Flag just about wherever you want. If it was my house (depending on how well I knew my neighbors and the neighborhood), I'd probably put it on the center post pointing out to the sidewalk, or on the corner post pointing to the driveway.

    You might consider hanging a Flag vertically from the inside of the front beam of the porch down to the railing. You would be able to use a bigger Flag. I hang Flags horizontally and vertically from the eaves across the front of our house and garage all the time. I have screw eyes along the inside of the eave's fachia (where they can't be seen) and I temporarily attach the Flags to the screw eyes using spring-loaded carabiners (found in the sporting goods or hardware section of Wal*Mart) through the Flag's grommets and the screw eyes. Very simple when down vertically.

    Horizontal placement requires the use of a camping tarp securing clamp & caribiner to secure the "fly" end of the Flag (no grommets there).

    If you have a Facebook account, you should be able to see my "Flag Display" pictures as they are all "Public". There are a number of different combinations of Flags and sizes. Also, you'd see the Flags that I fly from my 7' spinning poles, including the half-staffed 2'x3' Flags. I use size #8 screw-eyes because they're big enough to fit two caribiners through to hold two Flags. Although you won't be able to see exactly how the Flags are attached, you should be able to see some of the caribiners, screw-eyes, and short bungee cords I use. Most of the flags I own and display are 3'x5' ones, I'll also use some 2'x3' and 4'x6' ones from time to time, sometimes even larger.

    I think I mentioned "multi" position brackets, but yes, there are 13-position brackets. In fact that what I use for my Flags. I mentioned their use because I thought that IF you were unhappy with the original spot you chose to place your Flag and you decided to change it, the multi-position bracket might come in handy if the new spot required a different or "odd" angle to "work" properly. A two-position cast metal bracket should work OK.

    Nylon material/fabric is the best all-around choice for Flags. It is light and tightly woven so it flies very easily, even in light winds. Cotton is the more "traditional" choice and a lot of people (mostly older and more "old school") like it, but when it rains it soaks up the water like a sponge and gets very heavy. 2-ply. woven polyester Flags are made for extreme weather conditions, especially wind!

    Anyway, the last little bit of advice I'll give you is to go ahead and measure everything now BEFORE you start buying a Flag or flagpole (the bracket should be OK). In fact, if you have the bracket you can use some kind of a broom or mop handle (they're 4' to 5' long) to help you experiment with things and "imagine" where your flag might best go!

    Good Luck, and if there's anything else you might want to know... ASK !!!

    Robin Hickman
    "Your Friendly Neighborhood Flag Man"
    Eugene, Oregon, USA.

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