The 8 Best Solar Flagpole Lights
We spent 47 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. A solar flagpole light is the ultimate eco-friendly solution for illuminating your standard once the sun goes down in accordance with the U.S. Flag Code. Offering a simple, wireless installation and coming on automatically via light sensors, they range in size and brilliance, so choose one that best fits your personal needs. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best solar flagpole light on Amazon.
A Brief History of Flags
If anyone failed to kneel before it, it was considered as egregious a crime as disrespecting the emperor himself.
It may seem hard to believe, but flags haven't been around forever. The first ones seem to date back to the Chinese Zhou Dynasty in the 11th century B.C.E., so we have no idea what people prior to that looked at before the start of baseball games.
Those first flags were simple white banners that would be carried before the emperor as he traveled along. If anyone failed to kneel before it, it was considered as egregious a crime as disrespecting the emperor himself. Eventually, they began to decorate these standards with colorful birds, tigers, or even dragons.
Flags spread across the Indian subcontinent, when they were attached to chariots and battle elephants. They were designed to lead troops into battle, and to be established at the forefront of the combat; if the flag fell, that meant bad news for your side (and, presumably, your poor elephants).
Flags didn't make it over to Europe until the Saracens brought them along in the Middle Ages. Once established in Europe, flags began taking on different shapes and meanings. Individual families had their own colors and crests, and banners were carried before knights into battle. Meanwhile, the knights themselves would have small triangular flags on their lances, called pennons. The largest flags, known as standards, were usually stationary and used to mark the location of the army's king or commander.
Flags weren't just limited to terrestrial use, either. Ships at sea used streamers or pendants, often as big as 60 feet long, to indicate their class of vessel, as well as their intentions. Marine classification quickly became the most important use of flags starting in the 15th century C.E., and even pirates had their own, instantly identifiable model.
Until the late 18th century, flags only had utilitarian purposes, chiefly in military or diplomatic situations. However, around that time, nationalism began to be more common, and civilians soon proudly flew their country's banners and emblems.
Today, flags aren't carried into battle — instead, they're stitched on uniforms. Still, there's nothing that can rouse up patriotic feelings quite like the sight of your national flag, and many people imbue them with incredible importance and symbolism.
Why You Need A Solar Flagpole Light
If you've gone so far as to install a flagpole in your yard, then it's safe to say that you're pretty strongly patriotic. That's good — but it also means that you should be extra-careful when it comes to the care and display of your standard.
Typically, when many government or military locations fly the Stars and Stripes, they take it down at the end of the day, at which point they fold it and leave it in a secure location until the following morning. Of course, this can be a time-consuming process, and many people don't have the time or motivation to do this every day.
If you've gone so far as to install a flagpole in your yard, then it's safe to say that you're pretty strongly patriotic.
If that's the case and you want to fly your flag 24/7, then the U.S. flag code requires that it be illuminated during the hours of darkness. This means that your pole will need lights — and besides, you're going to want your friends and neighbors to be able to see it.
If you use traditional electrical lights, you'll quickly run into (at least) two problems. First, electricity costs money, so you'll have to consider whether you can afford to leave the flag up, or if you need to find a cheaper way to demonstrate your patriotic fervor.
The other issue is that electricity requires power cords. You'll have to find a way to snake an extension cord around the yard, which can be a huge hassle — and that's before taking into account the fact that you'll probably be tripping over it every time you go outside. Plus, you'll need to unplug and move it when it comes time to mow the lawn.
Solar flagpole lights solve both of these problems. They'll soak up energy during the day, when there's no need for them to run, and then they can stay lit all night — at no additional cost to you. Additionally, since they're drawing power from the sun, you don't have any cables to worry about.
It's the easiest way to proudly (and correctly) fly your flag all day and night— and it certainly beats getting up at dawn and waking up your neighbors with reveille.
Other Tips For Respectfully Displaying Your Flag
The flag code is a very long document, and you can be forgiven if you've never taken the time to thoroughly inspect the whole thing. Most of it applies to military and diplomatic use, but we've distilled the most important parts that you need to worry about below.
The flag code is a very long document, and you can be forgiven if you've never taken the time to thoroughly inspect the whole thing.
The most important thing, of course, is to make sure that you place it right-side up. Not doing so is an enormous insult, so only do so if you're trying to make a point — and in that case, be prepared to face some backlash, especially if you live near a lot of former service members.
Also, if you plan to fly other flags as well, be sure that the American flag gets the place of honor. This means it goes above or to the right (the viewer's left) of any other standard, and that you also raise it first and lower it last — and never let it touch the ground.
Technically, you're also supposed to take it down in inclement weather. The only exception is if you have an all-weather model, so picking the right flag is important if you're looking for a set-and-forget model.
Beyond that, all you really need to worry about is lowering it to half-mast when necessary, and replacing it with respect once it's seen better days.
It's up to you whether you want to sit in front of it all day and yell, "U-S-A! U-S-A!" at everyone who walks by.
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