How to Install a Flagpole in Your Yard

Updated: Jan. 31, 2022

A telescoping flagpole makes it easy.

One of the highlights of the Fourth of July when I was young was raising the American flag on the big flagpole in my grandparents’ front yard. It was a solemn affair, with salutes and official rules. My cousins and I hung on tight to the long heavy ropes—terrified of the consequences if we let the flag touch the ground, while learning important lessons about duty, honor and rope burns.

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Telescoping Flagpole

Traditional flagpoles like that one are still available, but the pole I put up in my own yard is a 20-foot telescoping pole—a home owner-friendly design made from aluminum sections that slide up or down and snap into place, with no hardware or ropes to worry about. It’s installed like a regular flagpole, but in a PVC sleeve set in concrete. So taking it out, or even setting it up somewhere else for the day, is easy. Here’s how to install a flagpole:

Prepare the Hole

Dig a round hole 12 inches in diameter and 30 inches deep. Pour about 8 inches of small gravel in the bottom of the hole for drainage under the flagpole.

Insert the stop bolt that comes with the flagpole into the predrilled PVC sleeve. Then, with the stop bolt end of the sleeve down, twist and wiggle the sleeve 2 inches into the gravel at the center of the hole. The sleeve should generally extend no more than 1 inch above grade, which is enough to keep dirt out, but low enough to be unobtrusive and below lawn mower blades.

Pour the Concrete and Plumb the Sleeve

Cover the top of the sleeve with duct tape to keep concrete out. Then mix up the concrete and pour it into the hole around the sleeve. Leave the concrete 2 inches below grade (or fill to grade and trowel the top smooth for an exposed concrete ring). When the concrete starts to firm up (15 to 30 minutes), set the flagpole into the sleeve and plumb in all directions with a level. Tape 1x2s to the pole and brace them to the ground to hold the pole plumb until the concrete hardens.

Raise the Flag

Now, the part you’ve been waiting for. Snap the flag to the top and middle clip (the bottom clip is for a second flag or for flying half-staff), then push each flagpole section all the way up until it locks. That’s all there is to it. To lower the pole, simply push the locking button in and slide each section down. A locking device for safety and security is available.

Flag Etiquette

THE U.S. FLAG should be raised and lowered carefully, and not be allowed to touch the ground. It should not be flown in inclement weather or at night, unless illuminated. Flying the flag at half-staff is a sign of mourning. On Memorial Day, fly the flag at half-staff from sunrise until noon, then at full-staff until sunset. When saluting the flag, men and women in uniform should give the military salute. Civilians should place their right hand over the heart, and noncitizens should stand at attention. State or organization flags are always flown below the U.S. flag, but flags of other nations should be flown on separate flagpoles, at the same height.

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