Our most Frequently Asked Questions.

There are six features that distinguish the flagpole price.
1. Height
2. Butt Diameter
3. Wall Thickness
4. Finish (Satin Aluminum, Powder Painted, Anodized)
5. Halyard System (Internal or External)
6. Installation Type (Ground Set, Shoe Base or Wall Mount)
All hardware, including the Ground Sleeve, is included in American Flagpole packages. Installation materials such as concrete, wood wedges, and sand must be provided by the installer. Flags and additional accessories such as hardware for flying additional flags, cleat cover boxes, etc. can also be purchased separately.
While we take great care in preparing our flagpoles for damage-free shipment, the packaging materials can cause stains when wet.
If a flagpole needs to be stored outside in the weather, the flagpole must be unwrapped and kept off of the ground until installation.
NOTE: American Flagpole shipments must be stored in a dry, moisture-free environment or packaging must be removed immediately upon receipt. On occasion there will be stains on a satin finish flagpole from wrapping paper that has become wet. The best way to remove the stains is warm soapy water, aluminum alloy cleaners, Ox-Out (available from American Flagpole), or a medium grit sand paper (Satin finish flagpoles only). If sand paper is used, always rub in the same direction as the original grain. For painted or anodized flagpoles only use liquid soap and water as NO caustic cleaners should be used.
Care and Maintenance >
Typically, American Flagpole flagpoles up to 40’ are produced in one piece, flagpoles 45’ are produced in two pieces, and flagpoles 50’ and greater are produced in 3 to 4 pieces. Special configurations (i.e. multi-piece flagpoles in lengths 40’ and under) can be accommodated.
A flagpole is designated by the above ground mounting height. The actual length includes the portion of the flagpole that is installed below ground level.
The size flag that will be flown will determine the distance. A minimum distance of 1-1/2 times the flag length is recommended. NOTE: Be cautious when working around power lines. If a pole comes in contact with a power line, serious injury or death can occur.
Flag etiquette makes it customary to light the flag when being flown 24 hours a day. Options include the American Beacon Down Lighting system, ground mounted lights installed away from the flagpole to Up Light the flag, and flagpole mounted Cylinder Lights. Internal halyard flagpoles do not use cylinder lights due to the difficulty lowering the flag and damage which could result from the halyard accessories (counter weight, beaded retainer sling, etc.). The internal halyard may also get tangled with the electrical wiring inside the flagpole potentially causing electrical issues.
If the foundation is set in soil, our manufactured Ground Sleeve with provided lightning rod should offer adequate protection for the flagpole. Our typical lightning rod is 18” long in order to extend 12″ into the soil beneath the concrete foundation, however, our Lightning Rod Kit (KIT-90190) can be purchased and installed for additional security in high-risk locations.
ground-sleeve-smlIndustry standard recommendations state that 10% of the Mounting Height (above ground height) of a flagpole should be buried in Ground Set installations. All American Flagpole Ground Set flagpoles are designed to accommodate this recommendation. For example, a 20′ flagpole is manufactured 22′ long to account for 2′ (10%) being embedded. If your foundation design shows a flagpole embedment deeper than the 10% length, American Flagpole recommends contacting us for options in extending the grounding spike in place of extending the flagpole and ground sleeve length. This should result in a savings for an equivalent installation.
NAAMM offers basic suggestions for foundation measurements in firm, dry soil. Soil conditions sites vary by site. Exact foundation requirements should be verified by a Structural Engineer with knowledge of soil conditions in your area.
Ground Set Foundation Chart >
The National Association of Architectural Metal Manufacturers (NAAMM) publishes a wind chart to assist in choosing the correct flagpole for your area. Special Wind Zone areas are indicated on the map, along with a notation for high wind areas including but not limited to mountainous terrain, gorges, and ocean promontories. These areas should be examined by a qualified Engineer familiar with local wind conditions. The desired height of the flagpole will then be the major factor in determining the correct flagpole.
Wind Zone Map >
American Flagpole Engineers will need the diameter, height, wall thickness, and geographic location of the flagpole this information to assist in answering this question properly, but flagpoles typically can fly one (1) to three (3) flags depending on the design factors.
Most flagpoles are chosen based solely on the visual aesthetics desired by project owners. An industry accepted, inexpensive way to get a visual feel for the height of the flagpole is to take a kite string and attach it to a helium filled balloon. Simply allow the balloon to the area you were considering flying the flag, and measure how much string is out to give the desired flagpole mounting height.
The National Association of Architectural Metal Manufacturers (NAAMM) publishes criteria for maximum flag size for each flagpole height. In many cases designers first determine desired flag size and then specify flagpole mounting height.
Flagpole Height Charts >
While there is no rule in the US Flag Code as long as the U.S. flag is on top and secondary flags are no larger. The industry accepted standard is that two flags of a similar or exact size is the most pleasing design.
YES! Removing the wooden wedges from the sand provides a more even stress point for the flagpole while allowing for a more natural vibration as the flagpole moves with the wind.
Ground Set Foundation >
1. Coat both joint surfaces with liquid soap, along with water to dilute the soap. This cuts friction and allows for easy clean up. Don’t use any kind of oil. It is difficult to clean the oil off the flagpole after connecting the joints.

2. Aluminum will expand in warm temperatures, causing a tight joint between the flagpole sections. Placing a bag of ice on the male section of the joint for a few minutes will contract the metal, easing the installation process.

Always refer to the concrete manufacturer’s instructions. A general rule of thumb is that concrete should be allowed to set at a rate of 24 hours for each yard of concrete.
All American Flagpole tapered shafts have a lower straight portion that may be used to plumb the flagpole during installation.
National Association of Architectural Metal Manufacturers (NAAMM) specifications require the top 2″ of the ground sleeve be filled with a waterproof compound in order to keep water out of the ground sleeve. If sand used in the ground set installation is allowed to become wet, settling can allow shifting of the flagpole.
Ground Set Foundation >
American Flagpoles does not provide a “wax coating” on satin finish flagpoles. Coating satin finish aluminum poles with wax does not improve their appearance. Wax coating was tested as a deterrent to water staining that can occur if satin finish aluminum poles are stored outside without removing the wrapping material. These tests showed that waxing was ineffective in preventing this staining.
Wax Finish PDF >
Due to raising and lowering of wet halyard and cracks from the internal door, water may access the inside of the flagpole. American Flagpoles also recommends checking to see if the ground sleeve has been covered with cement to prevent water from entering through the ground sleeve. A small hole no larger than ¼” in diameter may be drilled at grade level if this becomes an issue.
As the industry’s premiere flagpole manufacturer, American Flagpole is uniquely qualified to produce the industry’s highest quality custom and special flagpoles.
Read More >