Extend a Pole

Several years ago, when I was renting a house, I built a rather inexpensive flag pole to help teach my kids patriotism. In all, it cost around $50, with a $20 flag. I feel that it has proved valuable to our family and the neighbors around us.

To build it, I went to the local Home Depot and bought:

2  –  10’ x 1.5” electrical conduit sections

1 – 1.5” conduit coupler

40 feet nylon rope

1  pulley

4  – lanyard clips (see picture)

1  – 3’x5’ US Flag (good quality)

Small piece wire

1’ piece of 1/2 inch metal tubing

Later on, when I had my own house, I bought three sacks of concrete to set the pole in the ground with.

First, I connected the two pieces of conduit with the coupler, then I used my acetylene torch and welded the coupler to the conduit, thereby strengthening the connection.

Lanyard Clip

At the top of the pole, I drilled a ¼ inch hole to thread the wire through and wired the pulley. Then, I tied the lanyards to the rope, threaded the rope through the pulley, and tied it into a loop. Pay careful attention on this step that the spacing and location of the lanyards will hold the flags in place, and will allow full motion of the rope through the pulley as needed. I used four lanyards so I could fly two flags. I used to have a yellow “Don’t Tread On Me” flag, but I have since retired it. A simple overhand knot through the lanyard will do.

Once the pole and rope is assembled, you may extend it. When I rented the house, I had the pole lashed to a stair banister. Since we now have bought our own place, I dug a hole and set it in concrete. After you extend the pole, take that foot long pipe, bend it into a “U” shape and weld it at waist height for a tie-off. That should be all you need to do. After I got all the parts, it only took an afternoon to assemble and erect.

It has been up for over five years now and has been a joy to have. Every morning, we do a flag raising and say the pledge of allegiance. Every evening, we retire the colors and fold it properly. My oldest son is learning the trumpet this year, maybe I will see if we can get him to play taps.

Author: Jim Johnson

As a man in his early 40's, I grew up on a dairy farm in an irreligious home. Disgusted with the choice of women out there, I looked into religion to find a worthwhile mate. At 23, I joined the LDS (Mormon) faith, married, became a civil engineer, and now have six children. My favorite things are puppies, long walks on the beach, and the color blue (not really).