Looking to raise a big, beautiful flag at your home, business, or organization? A 50 ft flagpole is just the ticket! But with so many options out there, how do you choose the right one? Don't worry, I'm here to walk you through the process and help you make the best decision.
Internal Halyard: With an internal halyard system, the rope that raises and lowers the flag is enclosed within the pole. This gives a very clean, streamlined look as you don't see any external ropes or pulleys. Internal systems are more expensive but tend to be very reliable and easy to operate with a winch system.
External Halyard: External halyard systems have the rope on the outside of the pole. This system is simpler and less costly than internal options. But some people don't like the aesthetic as much with the exposed rope and pulleys. External systems may also require more maintenance over time.
When deciding between internal and external, think about the visual look you prefer as well as your budget. Internal costs more upfront but requires less maintenance over time.
Next up is material. Commercial flagpoles generally come in three material types: aluminum, stainless steel or fiberglass. Here's a quick rundown of the pros and cons of each:
Aluminum: This is the most popular option for its light weight, corrosion resistance and affordability. Aluminum flagpoles range from basic to more ornate styles. While durable, aluminum can be prone to dents and scratches over time.
Stainless Steel: For maximum strength and durability, stainless steel flagpoles are ideal. Rust-resistant steel holds up extremely well in all weather conditions. Stainless steel is heavier and more expensive than aluminum but is virtually maintenance-free.
Fiberglass: Fiberglass poles are lightweight like aluminum but even more flexible. This makes fiberglass a good choice for high wind areas. Fiberglass won't rust or need painting. The downside is higher cost and susceptibility to damage from impacts.
When choosing a material, think about factors like location, exposure to elements, budget and visual appeal. If situated in a high wind area near the ocean, fiberglass or stainless steel makes sense. For an inland setting with milder weather, economical aluminum should do the trick.
Now let's talk about pole shape and other accessories. Flagpoles come in tapered or non-tapered designs. Tapered models are larger at the base and gradually thin toward the top. Non-tapered poles are the same width top to bottom. Tapered flagpoles give a more majestic, grand appearance. But non-tapered models are often more affordable.
Other considerations are gold ball ornaments, yard arm sets for flying multiple flags, and in-ground or base mount installation. A light at the top illuminates the flag at night. And for stormy weather, a heavy-duty stainless steel snap hook secures your flag on the rope halyard.
When ordering materials, be sure to get properly sized flags and ropes to match your new flagpole. The standard recommendation is for a flag size that is 1/4 the height of the pole. So for a 50 foot pole, go with a 12-1/2 foot flag length. Rope halyard should be about 2 feet longer than the pole.
Don't forget permits! Most areas require permits for permanent outdoor flagpole installation over a certain height. Make sure to check with your city hall or county clerk's office beforehand to avoid any issues.
Okay, let's recap the key steps:
1. Decide between internal or external halyard system
2. Choose pole material: aluminum, stainless or fiberglass
3. Consider tapered vs. non-tapered shape and accessories
4. Get properly sized flags and rope
5. Obtain installation permits if needed
There are so many great flagpole manufacturers out there to select from. Do your research to find an experienced, reputable company. Be sure to get your pole specifications like wall thickness, material grade, halyard type and wind speed ratings.
Raising a large, patriotic or decorative flag on a tall flagpole makes a bold statement. Follow this guide, shop around for the best value, and soon you'll be proudly displaying your colors for all to see! Let me know if you have any other flagpole questions - I'm happy to help!