Okaton, South Dakota
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Common Parts of a Flagpole
Flags can be seen at a variety of places across the country. Homes of American citizens as well as government buildings display them out of patriotic spirit. Before installing one in your yard, you should get to know the parts so that you can be sure you are flying it properly.
Flag – A banner usually made out of fabric that is used to show loyalty to a certain country of the world. Since they are considered the emblem of a nation, citizens take offense when they are disrespected or mistreated.
Flagpole – The object that a flag is raised on, usually some sort of metal like aluminum. This part can also be called a staff or mast.
Hoist End – The side of the flag that is attached to the pole.
Canton – This term refers to the design on the upper left hand. For example, the American flag’s canton features 50 stars. Not all banners in the world have cantons. One such flag is Great Britain’s.
Fly End – The end that is free to billow in the wind.
Fly – The distance from the canton to the fly end.
Field – Sometimes called the ground, this is the section between the hoist end and the fly end. The canton is not included in this.
Truck – The piece that tops a flagpole. On taller staffs, it feature holes for pulley systems so that the flag may be raised and lowered with ease.
Finial – A decorative piece attached to the truck. Another name for this part is a staff ornament. Popular finials include orbs and eagles, which is USA’s national emblem.
Halyard – The rope used to adjust the height of a flag on the pole.
Throughout the world, flags have been used as an emblem national pride and team loyalty. Flags and banners have been used for military and patriotic purposes by almost every country in recorded history. They have played a central role in the religious and cultural development of the world, and continue to fly today as signs of allegiance and emblems of pride.
When thinking of flags, most people initially conjure the image of an American flag carried in a parade or flying from a flag pole. However, banners and pennants, such as those carried by sports fans, also fall into this category. Whether they are hung on a wall or hoisted from an aluminum mast or a fiberglass pole, most include telltale characteristics such as bright colors and a construction of cloth or synthetic material.
Before hanging the country's flag, it is important to be aware of any world or local customs that dictate the manner in which it is to be displayed. The American flag, for instance must be installed with the stars and stripes on the upper corner of the flag, nearest to the pole. If it is being displayed with other flags or a regional banner, it must be flown higher than all the others. Many feel that it should never be hung in the dark, and so installing decorative lights and other accessories for nighttime illumination is necessary. Information regarding the manner in which an American flag must be stored and how it should be repaired is available through websites dedicated to flag preservation or to kits included in most flag and banner packaging, in addition to bows and knots that may be used for affixing it to a pole.