Flagpoles fly flags. How does a flagpole operate? Not from the top of the flagpole but from the bottom. Everything starts with the way the flag is secured at the bottom of the flagpole. In most cases, the flag is secured by a cleat.
From the vessels to flagpoles, cleat placement is very important for both aesthetic and practical reasons. On a flagpole, the cleat should be with the prevailing winds even for revolving trucks (where the truck swivels). If you have a stationary truck, you really want the cleat to be in line with the pulley, which should also be with the prevailing winds. Hopefully this is in line with the aesthetic set up. If not, the cleat can be placed anywhere, but the rope may wrap around the flagpole, causing torque on the rope and your system.
Cleat: a device consisting of two hornlike prongs projecting horizontally in opposite directions from a central base, used for securing lines on vessels, wharves, etc
There are three common flagpole systems, only one of them uses a cleat. There are a few drawbacks of a cleat, but the main one deals with security. A cleat leaves your flagpole completely exposed to tampering and vandalism to the public. You can't keep an eye on the flagpole day and night.
Running from flagpole to flagpole, we can tell you, the solution for many is a high placed cleat. But what a hassle to replace the flag. For some, you have to put a ladder against the flagpole (extremely dangerous), and climb the flagpole. For others, you have to bring out a chair, etc. A few businesses who regularly operate bucket trucks and lift equipment place the cleat even further up the flagpole.
If you do have a security risk on your flag, the flagpole is in an area where you want it protected from vandalism, you can use a cleat cover box. These boxes do not require any drilling. The box works with the existing holes of the standard aluminum flagpole. If you want to outfit a steel pole, you can easily drill pilots and use this option. In the end, the system should work for you instead of you having to work at the system.
In this rare video, FlagRunners find a low placed exposed cleat system. Why would someone, place a double cleat system lower (at shoe height)? In this case, it works well because the ground outside the building is on two different levels causing a pedestal perimeter around the building. It is easier to change the flag from the lower level, than to climb up onto the pedestal. Convenience, quality, and care keeps flags on flagpoles.