The 7 Best Telescopic Flag Poles
This wiki has been updated 15 times since it was first published in February of 2017. If you want to show your pride by flying the Stars and Stripes or share your affinity for a sports team or school by raising their standard, but you don't actually want a pole permanently erected in your yard, you've come to the right place. We've selected a number of flagstaffs of various heights that can all be collapsed and put away in a matter of minutes. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best telescopic flag pole on Amazon.
A Brief History Of Flags
Arabic people called Saracens are credited for bringing flags into Europe, where they were soon used to herald knights in battle.
Before there were flags, there were battle standards. These were metal objects, usually representing fierce animals of some sort, that were mounted on poles and used to lead armies into battle. The idea was to terrify your opponent and inspire your men to fight with the same ferocity as the creatures symbolized.
The first known flags, meanwhile, originated in China sometime around the 11th century B.C.E., and may have been inspired by streamers attached to Egyptian battle standards. The founder of the Zhou Dynasty would travel with a white flag carried before him, and its main purpose was to let his people know that their highness was among them — kind of the early version of a hype man.
These Chinese flags were strictly reserved for royalty, and touching the king's flag was treated as severely as touching the king himself. Soon, the lowering of flags would become associated with the fall of the king in battle, and waving flags was also used to signal troop movements and maneuvers. Indian militaries would begin to use them not long after the Chinese.
Arabic people called Saracens are credited for bringing flags into Europe, where they were soon used to herald knights in battle. Meanwhile, the spread of Islam in the Middle East affected their flag designs, as they were prohibited from using identifiable images, causing them to instead rely on symbolic coloring — such as black for vengeance.
Flags were used primarily in warfare until about the 17th century C.E., when the age of maritime exploration created the need to make a ship's country of origin readily identifiable. In fact, it soon became a legal requirement to fly a flag when at sea, which is probably why pirates began to use black flags — they'd hate to break the law, after all.
Ships also used the flags to signal important information, such as a white flag to indicate truce, or a yellow one to alert outsiders that the crew is suffering from an infectious disease. Lowering your flag indicated surrender, while dipping it was seen as a sign of respect.
A rise in nationalist sentiment in the 18th century led to people using flags outside of a military or maritime environment, and these feelings linger today. Nowadays, flags are often used to signal that you believe your country to be superior to others, especially when it comes to sports.
That being said, there is a tremendous amount of pride and respect tied up in every flag, and each one deserves to be treated with dignity. It may just be a symbol, but it symbolizes something pretty important.
How To Properly Handle A Flag
While not all flags are created equal, they all represent something that the person displaying the flag cares deeply about, whether it's their homeland or their favorite football team. As such, it pays to know how to treat your standard with the respect it deserves.
If it's a sports flag or other piece of memorabilia, there are no hard and fast rules, so you're free to make up your own. Just treat it according to the manufacturer's instructions, and it should last you a long time.
Also, you should take it down in inclement conditions, unless you have an all-weather model.
If it's a national or state flag, however, you should know that there are definitely set rules for how to handle it — and no shortage of people willing to angrily correct you if you get it wrong. There's a lot of variation in these rules, however, so do your research before you run it up the pole.
Generally speaking, your flag should be treated with respect, and not as a decoration. Draping it over your couch or using it to wipe BBQ sauce off your hands is generally frowned upon. Defacing it in any way is also taboo, and that includes adding your own touches, so hold off on sewing the family crest onto the Stars & Stripes.
Don't let it touch the ground, even when folding it, and make sure it's not touching anything else while it's flying, either (especially not a power line). If it gets damaged, it's your responsibility to see that it gets mended promptly.
Typically, you should only display your flag during the daytime, so be prepared to raise and lower it every day if you get one. The exception is if it's illuminated, so you may need to invest in some outdoor lighting if you want to show off your patriotic leanings. Also, you should take it down in inclement conditions, unless you have an all-weather model.
Displaying a flag is a great way to show your pride, but it requires a bit of responsibility, as well. Still, it's hard to complain about the sacrifices you've made on the flag's behalf when compared to those made by others, don't you think?
What To Look For In A Flagpole
You may think that buying a flagpole should be easy — it just needs to not fall down, right? However, there are a few things you should consider before making your purchase.
Before you begin, you should know where you're going to put it. Make sure you get something that's either tall enough already to keep the flag clear of obstacles, or one that telescopes.
If so, you'll need to make sure you can plant the pole securely enough that it won't tip over in high gusts.
Also, take typical weather conditions into consideration. Is the flag going to be subjected to high winds? If so, you'll need to make sure you can plant the pole securely enough that it won't tip over in high gusts. Having your flagpole topple over could damage your house — and subject you to the rage of an angry veteran.
The size of your flag plays into this, as well. If you go with a giant, oversized model, you'll need a sturdier pole (and may want to have it professionally installed). Smaller flags will give you a lot more options in placement, although they won't stand out as much.
Once you find the right pole, you'll be ready to let your colors fly — and to let your neighbors know that it's time for them to step their game up.
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