Let your flag fly, whatever it may be. From school colors to patriotic pride, a flag needs to be properly secured so that it can endure against high winds and still proudly wave.
Know Your Vocab
The ropes you tie to your flagpole are known as the halyard. The halyard can become damaged over time due to exposure to the elements and strong winds. Keep an eye out for frays or weak spots.
Next are the snap hooks. Snap hooks have a sliding opener on the hook that opens and "snaps" the hook into place. This allows you to change your flag easily or remove it in bad weather. The snaps will safely secure the flag to the halyard.
Your flag should also have small holes, usually lined with a metal ring that the snap hooks will attach to, called grommets. The grommets keep the flag material from fraying against the snap hooks.
Twice the Height
There is no standard height for a flag pole. Variations on size depend on neighborhood and local regulations, but most urban flag poles are between 15 and 30 feet tall. When it's time to raise your flag, the halyard will need to be twice the height of the pole. For example, for a 20-foot pole, you will need 40 feet of rope.
Secure the Halyard
If you are replacing a frayed halyard with a new line, splice the ends of the old halyard then attach the new rope to the end of the other with electrical tape. Hold tight to the other end of the old rope so that it does not accidentally pull upwards. This is the side you will pull down while the new halyard pulls up. Run the rope up the pole and through the pulley system until the new rope replaces the old halyard. Secure the ends with a tight knot. If the halyard is polyester, burn the ends of the knot to prevent frays. The halyard knot should then be raised to the top of the pole.
Loop Around Snap Hooks
Snap hooks hold the flag to the line. Place the snap hooks on your halyard at the exact length of your flag. If your flag is three by five feet, your snap hooks will be three feet apart. If you are unsure of your flag size, attach the top snap hook first. After it is secure, attach the top of the flag to the snap hook. Stretch the flag down the rope to measure where the bottom snap hook should be placed.
Attach your snap hook to the halyard by making a loop in the rope. Feed the loop through the eye of the snap hook. Pull the hook part through the loop and tighten the rope to the body of the hook. The small loop will grow tighter with each pull of the halyard, further securing the snap hook.
Attach Hooks to Flag Grommets
As mentioned, most flags have grommets where the snap hooks easily fit to attach your flag to the halyard. Attach the top grommet of the flag to the highest snap hook. Stretch the flag out and raise the rope a little if needed to attach the bottom hook to the flag. Your flag is secured and ready to raise.
Pull Flag Up and Secure Halyard Knot
Raise your flag to the top of the pole by gently pulling on the halyard. When the halyard knot reaches your hands, you'll know the flag is at the top. Secure the knotted end of the rope at the bottom cleat of the flagpole by circling the rope in an up-over-down-over figure-eight motion. Wrap the rope several times until the entire rope is wrapped and the figure eight is visibly seen. Secure the remaining rope under the last loop to tighten and secure your flag.