Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Not too long ago, we were in Oklahoma City for the Memorial Marathon. It was a touching and eye-opening event for many reasons. This event keeps the spirits of the victims of Last night, a Category 4 Tornado ravaged the town of Moore just south of the City. This is a commuter city of about 56,000 people who work in Oklahoma City. Our thoughts and prayers are on those victims and families effected by the devastation caused by the tornado.
From our visit, we can tell you the sense of community and hospitality of Oklahoma is second to none. Now, more than ever, we need to support Oklahoma City as they search for survivors within the miles of wreckage. President Obama has declared this a Major Disaster Area and it looks as though it is not over. More storms are expected throughout Oklahoma tonight.
We are shocked by what has happened, but we know Oklahoma is a tough state. They are a community of supporters. Please keep Oklahoma in your hearts.
Posted by FlagRunners at 9:53 AM
Monday, May 20, 2013
Let's talk about Swiss Precision Machining. This company has its headquarters in Niles, IL, where we happen to be out on a run after doing a job just North of O'hare International Airport. This small nook or business park is home to some of the largest companies in America including a Coca-Cola distribution plant. And yes, Coca-Cola has a flag. But we are not looking at their flag today, we are looking at Swiss Precision Machining.
You can tell a lot about a company when you visit their front door, and then look at them electronically. If the impression is unified, the company message is unified. We don't often talk about a company electronically because we are flag people, but the world is changing. A company now has two front doors. Swiss Precision Machining is a great company to take notes. The front lawn features a flagpole and the website features a blog tackling current issues in the industry.
Material: Commercial Aluminum
System: External Halyard
Finish: Clear Anodized
Butt Diameter: 6"
Wall Thickness: 0.188"
Rope has recently been changed. Swivel snap hooks look good. But today, we don't want to diagnose a problem and talk about the different ways to fix it, we want to talk about the plaque found on the flagpole. A plaque is a great way to dedicate the flagpole and add an element of personal history to your display.
Plaques are a nice custom addition to flagpoles. If you are looking to put in a new flagpole at your location, find the right flagpole for you (try this flagpole finder), ask about adding a plaque. As a flag flyer, you are giving your people a flag to follow. With the dedication, you give your community a voice. What do you want to say? How do you want to be seen. Take a lesson from Swiss Precision Machining.
Posted by FlagRunners at 3:22 PM
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Saturday, May 18, 2013
Friday, May 17, 2013
Think you have a problem, we are here to prove you are not alone. Just take a look at the Tucson Convention Center. Five deluxe internal flagpoles line this entryway. While this is not a standard fix for the winch-based device, it is certainly creative and functional. We wonder, however, if the system has failed over time and is the reason why only one flagpole flies a flag.
How did they fix their problem
The flagpole manager found a boat winch (by Fulton), affixed it to the pole just below the door, then they used a (nautical yardarm) pulley. Bolting the pulley to the opposite end, they were able to run the cable through the boat winch into the flagpole via the pulley. Pretty clever solution!
However, the crank handle, secured with chain and lock, is not stainless steel, so it has rusted. This may create problems over time. I can't help but be impressed, but it does negate the purpose of an internal flagpole: security and presentation.
How-To fix the problem
These flagpoles look to have a small enough diameter to use the small stainless steel winch. There are several different models and types, to any stainless steel winch will not do. If you have a similar problem, the best thing to do is take a picture inside the flagpole where the winch is set, or take a picture of the winch and send it to email@example.com. Then we can tell you what you need!
Prevent flagpole breakdowns by replacing parts routinely. If you wait to fix the flagpole, you will likely have a much bigger problem on your hands. Flagpole breakdowns may not turn into fixes this extreme, but will most certainly eat into your flag. Getting the longest life out of your flag is the most economic and respectful way to fly a flag. Better flagpole parts means better flag life.
Posted by FlagRunners at 11:46 AM
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Five flagpoles form a semi-circle around a fountain. The fountain is not functioning, the flags are not flying. It is not Sunday, flags might only go up on Sundays, but you can tell there has been a struggle with these flagpoles at The Cathedral. The tallest flagpole with an eagle ornament, designed to be dedicated to flying the American flag has lost its ropes. At this point, it will take a lift truck to fix the problem, but while they are roping the tall pole, they should go ahead and fix the rest of the flagpoles. A few parts and a few hours could completely turn this display around. They already have commercial ground lights. We would look at replacing all the ropes, trucks, and repositioning the cleats/adding cleat cover boxes.
We love seeing a flagpole display such as this one because it shows this organization understands the power of flags in their community. They understand giving their people a flag to follow. If you have a problem with your flagpole, chances are there are many people out there with the same problems or worse. So we offer these 3 tips to help the flag flyer gain control of their flagpole and get the most out of their flags.
Tip 1: Halyard (rope) should match your commitment Level
There are several different types of Halyard (rope). The reason there are several types has more to do with the flagpole truck than anything else. The flagpole truck houses the pulley. Sometimes the pulley will only allow a certain diameter rope or cable. But that is not the end of the story.
If you think you might leave the flag up during harsh weather (Check your FlagWeather here. Very cool.), get wire-core rope. If you think you are going to leave the rope on the pole for several years without checking it, get wire-center rope. If your flagpole hardware comes in contact with anything (bushes, trees, etc.), get wire-center rope. In conclusion, if you are not willing to monitor your parts, have a very tall flagpole (35'+), or if you are worried about the rope breaking at all, get stronger, thicker rope or go wire-center so you NEVER DEAL WITH BROKEN ROPE PROBLEMS. They are expensive, and typically lead to a retired flagpole.
Tip 2: Keep the cleat at arms reach
One of the biggest mistakes we see as FlagRunners is the "raised cleat." People think a clever solution to security on external flagpole is to raise the cleat out of pedestrian reach. THIS IS A BAD IDEA. What happens over time, a long time, the flagpole become a nuisance to manage. Every time there is a storm or something needs to be attended to, someone has to figure out how to get access to the raised cleat.
Alternatively, you can get a cleat cover box. The cleat cover box is easy to install, is a one-time project and brings the cleat down to shoulder level so you can quickly take the flags down as well as easily replace parts and rope. If you want added security beyond the cleat cover box, get a halyard cover.
Tip 3: Don't over fly, don't under buy
Not all commercial flagpoles are created equally. You can't just fly any size flag off of your flagpole. Look at what your flagpole is rated for. Each wind rating is rated off of a certain flag size. If you want to fly multiple flags, you can take the square yardage of the one-flag-rating and that will give you an idea of what the two sizes of the flag should add up to (area-wise). Appropriate sized flags will protect your flagpole, hardware, and give your flags the longest life possible.
hardware to break down as well as the flags.
Posted by FlagRunners at 1:33 PM
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Joseph Copello together with a small group of people organized to create this magnificent display with plaques of bronze and stone, a large fountain, and of course, a 4-section steel flagpole some 60-80 feet tall. The flagpole was dedicated for the first time in 1924, but was completed in 1923. While its history is rich, the statement it makes is more profound. Garvin Park is thought of as the gateway from the south of Evansville, Indiana to the north. The fountain/flagpole marks the entrance to the park. It acts to unify both sides of the city not only in location, but in sentiment.
We could not have visited at a better time as the flagpole was restored and completely repainted last October (click here). The local VFW post 1114 held a flag ceremony in November to retire the existing flag and raise a new one. What proceeded was a 21-gun-solute.
Finding a flag display like this reminds us why we work to help people rebuild their flagpoles. A well maintained flagpole will give you better flag life and help you treat your flag with respect. We run from town to town to see your community through the eyes of the flag.