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Flagpole and flag terminology

Sporting facilities, schools, business, government buildings, museums and places of worship, flagpoles stand tall all around Australia. How much do you know about flagpoles? Do you know your terminology?

Harness your inner vexillologist, and discover key flagpole and flag components with our Intrack terminology list.

Flag and flagpole terminology

Cleat- The device used to secure the bottom of a flagpole halyard (rope).

Colour Fastness- The ability of a material to resist fading and colour migration.

Double Seal- A flag which reads correctly from both sides because a portion of the flag has another design sewn to the back side.

Flash Collar- Decorative cover used at the base of an outdoor flagpole.

Fly End- The free flying end of a flag, usually opposite the heading.

Fringed- A flag with decorative fringe around all or part of its perimeter.

Front- The surface seen when a flag is in its normal flying position with the hoist to the viewer’s left. (The “Back” is the reverse).

Grommets– Brass rings or eyelets (normally in the heading) for mounting outdoor flags.

Halyard- Rope for an outdoor flagpole used to raise and lower the flag.

Heading- The heavy canvas or other reinforcing material at the side or end from which the flag or banner will be supported.

Hoist- The side of a flag next to the pole.

Joint- The device used to hold a 2-piece pole together.

Outdoor Flags– Flags constructed primarily for use on an outdoor pole- with heading and grommets or rope.

Roped- A flag with a rope passing through the heading and looped and secured at each end. The halyard of the flagpole is then attached to the loops. Normally used only on large outdoor flags.

Single/Reverse- A flag which reads correctly from the front and reverse from the rear.

Snap Hook- A device used to attach a flag to the halyard (rope) on a flagpole..

Field- The predominant colour of a flag.

Finial- The ornament at the end of a flagstaff or flagpole.

Flag Hoist- Signal flags in a group attached to the same halyard and hoisted as a unit.

Fly- The free end of a flag, farthest from the staff. The term is also used for the horizontal length of the flag.

Grommet- A metal ring placed along the hoist of a flag to attach the halyard. Two piece metal grommets were first used in the U.S. about the time of the Civil War or just after.

Halyard- Rope used to hoist and lower a flag.

Header- A heavy cloth strip, usually canvas, sewn to the hoist edge of a flag and often grommeted for hoisting.

Hoist- The part of the flag closest to the staff. The term is also used for the vertical width of a flag.

Outrigger Pole- A flagpole coming off the side of a building at an angle.

Ratio- The relationship of a flag’s width to it’s length, e.g. France is 2:3; Germany is 3:5, Russia is 1:2.

Reeve- This means to pull the halyard through the truck, raising or lowering a flag.

Staff- This is a pole the flag hangs on.

Swallowtail- This flag which comes to two or three points at the fly end.

Truck- This is the wooden or metal block at the top of a flagpole below the finial (staff ornament). It includes a pulley or holes for halyard.

Vexillology– This is the study of flag history and symbolism. The name comes from the Latin Word vexillum, which means flag.

Looking for a flagpole? Contact Intrack for more information. 

(Information Source: American Made Flag Store)

 

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