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If you’ve never set up a flagpole before, you may think there’s not much to it. In reality, this process will require your full and undivided attention.
First, you’ll need to find the right flagpole for your needs. There are many flagpole sizes and materials, and not all of them will be a good fit for your yard. You’ll also need the right tools, from a post hole digger and wooden shims to a concrete mixing tray.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! Interested in the full guide? Here’s how to install a flagpole that will stand the test of time.
Choose a Location
The flagpole location is a key factor in getting enjoyment out of it. You’ll want it to be visible both from your window and the street.
You’ll also want a location that’s accessible to the wind. After all, a flag’s true beauty is only evident when it’s waving around in the breeze. This is unlikely to happen often if your flag is too close to a large building or a stand of trees.
The last thing you’ll want to consider in regards to location is the lighting. Again, the natural light is more likely to reach your flag if you keep it away from trees and buildings.
Ensure It’s Safe
When you find the right location, don’t go straight to digging a hole. First, you’ll need to ensure you won’t damage a buried wire or pipe.
The consequences of doing so can range from losing power to breaking a water pipe. You may also break an electrical power source, which can lead to a personal injury. Of course, paying for the repairs can be costly as well.
The good news is that you can avoid this issue by calling 811. This is the national Call Before You Dig number, and anyone who plans to dig should call it first. They’ll send out a contractor to survey the area and make sure it’s safe for digging.
Dig a Hole
Once you’ve gotten the go-ahead, you can start digging your hole. The best tool for this task is a post hole digger, but an auger can get it done faster.
The size of your hole should be 4-6 times the butt diameter of the flagpole. Take the conditions into account—if the ground is sandy, it’s better to go with a bigger hole. With hard-packed soil and mild wind conditions, a smaller hole will be fine.
The depth of the hole should be equal to the length of your ground sleeve plus 6”. The extra 6” is there to contain the drainage gravel that needs to be at the bottom of the hole.
Create a Foundation
After digging the hole, put 6” of gravel in the bottom and stand the sleeve on top of it. The top of the sleeve must be level with the soil around the hole.
With the sleeve at the center of the hole, use wooden shims and a level to secure it in place. Stuff the top of the sleeve with paper so that no material falls inside it. Then, mix as much cement as you’ll need based on the size of the hole and flagpole.
Once you’ve mixed the cement, start gently shoveling it around the ground sleeve. Keep filling this hole while packing the cement with a shovel or trowel. Stop adding cement once you’ve filled the hole to a few inches below ground level.
Let the cement cure overnight and add some topsoil to fill in the hole. This will allow grass to grow around the flagpole.
Prepare the Flagpole
The next step involves building a flagpole. This includes attaching the ornaments, halyards, and trucks.
Most flagpole kits come with all the parts and tools you’ll need for this step. Not sure which flagpole kit to pick? Check out The Titan Flagpole Kit: How to Choose a Residential Flagpole Kit and Why the Titan Brand Flagpole is the Best.
If the flagpole is in sections, start by sliding them onto one another. Then, attach the truck to the top and screw in the top ball or ornament. Pass the halyard through the pulley, but don’t trim it yet—you’ll want to stand the pole first to know how much to trim.
Continue by attaching the cleat to the bottom part of your pole. Tie the halyard ends around the cleat. This should leave the flagpole completely assembled save for the flag and snap hooks.
Stand the Flagpole
Before standing the flagpole, make sure it won’t come in contact with a power line. You’ll also want a few helpers for this task.
Start by taking out the paper you put into the ground sleeve. Move the butt of the pole over the opening and have your helpers lift the top end. As they’re lifting it, keep applying downward pressure on the pole to keep it in the sleeve.
Now, grab a bag of sand and a level and start adding sand into the sleeve. While you’re doing that, your helpers should keep the flag level on two axes. Once you’ve filled the sleeve to within 1/2” of the top, add some sealant over the sand and around the pole.
Raise the Flag
Once you’re done with flagpole installation, connect the two ends of the halyard into a loop. Consider using the double fisherman’s bend.
You’ll also need to attach the snap hooks to the halyard. You can do that by folding a loop in the rope and threading it through the loop of the snap hook. Then, bring the loop over the snap end of the hook and pull it tight.
Finally, attach the top snap hook to the flag’s top grommet. Use your flag to measure where the bottom grommet will connect and make another bend in the rope below that point. Thread this snap hook as well, attach it to the flag, and raise it!
More on How to Install a Flagpole
If you’ve done everything right, your flag should now be flying high. All that’s left now is to sit back and admire its beauty.
Looking for more information on how to install a flagpole? Want to make sure that you’re following the correct flag etiquette? Keep reading our flag-related content!