Friday, April 19, 2013

Cities, towns, villages across the country have parks. Many parks fly a flag. But it is not always easy to keep up with the flagpole parts at a park. When many facility managers are in charge of dozens of flag displays, it can be difficult to keep track of the flagpole situation. One thing a city, town, or village does have access to typically is a bucket truck. No matter how mangled or warn out a flag display gets, with a few inexpensive parts and a bucket truck, you can fix anything.

The one thing we love about flag displays at municipal locations such as court houses or parks, is that they always get a heavy duty flagpole. Even when you can tell the flagpole is 20+ years old, the display still looks great. Even if that flagpole is not featured int he community. The flagpole in today's episode is a great example.

This flagpole is a clear anodized, 25 or 30 ft. flagpole with a 6" butt diameter and a 0.156" wall thickness, external halyard system with a rotating truck. 

So what does all that mean? When you add it up, you get a flagpole that is heavy-duty enough to be neglected for years, but then able to be put back together in no time. The clear anodized finish coats the flagpole and makes it scratch resistant. Nice idea in a park. The 6" butt diameter is a wider base which gives the flagpole more presence and a stronger frame. The 0.156" wall thickness means it is a thicker flagpole than what is standard in Chicago, 0.125".

With the external system, all the ropes are on the outside. In a park like this, the flagpole is very exposed. The wind will cause the swivel snap hooks or flag clips to bang against the flagpole. This will take off the protective coating and start eating into the flagpole. You can avoid this with snap hook covers. The truck at the top of the flagpole is supposed to be rotating. Over the years it has oxidized and failed. Now the pulley works, but the truck does not move with the wind, easing the tension on the flag. In this case, I would just replace the RTS-125 truck. And maybe the 6" ball while I was at it.

As you can see in the video, the flagpole has become over-grown by the tree. If the park wanted to really make good use of this flagpole, they could always move it to the other side on the cabin where the area is more open for the flag to fly freely. But that is another video... this one.