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)



100mm x 8.0mtr rotating arm flagpole on a hinge base

Strong and flexible: an Intrack flagpole with rotating arm

Team Intrack can engineer and install a flagpole for your specific needs. This image shows one of our 100mm x 8.0mtr rotating arm flagpole on a hinge base.

Rotating arms, or rota arms, on a flagpole, extend the life of the flag being flown by allowing the flag to rotate in the wind rather than stay static.

flagpole 100mm x 8.0mtr rotating arm on a hinge base

The Intrack rotating arm flagpole is usually supported by a hinged base. With a hinge base, you can lower your flagpole to the ground without completely removing it from its footing. With rotating flagpoles, ropes aren’t used to raise and lower flags. The hinge base allows ensures easy flag/banner changeover and repair or maintenance without the need for use of reach trucks.

Pakenham flags


A banner pole of Hellenistic proportions

The Intrack Intrapole: now on display at the Hellenic Museum

Greg Harte recently stood a few Intrapole banner poles at the Hellenic Museum at 280 William Street, Melbourne.

Perfectly proportioned and engineered for excellence, these top of the range poles are in perfect keeping with the idealised beauty and precision of Hellenistic era artwork.

IMG_2328 IMG_2330 IMG_2332 IMG_2335


An ounce of prevention: flagpole and flag maintenance tips

Extend the life of your flagpole with maintenance

Flagpole inspection and maintenance is important for keeping your flagpole looking good and your flag flying high. It’s even more important to ensure the integrity of the flagpole remains and it presents no safety risk.

The Intrack team completes routine maintenance for many of our corporate flagpole and council customers. However, as we have many residential and small business customers, we’re often asked for self-managed flagpole maintenance tips.

To maintain your flagpole, every six to 12 months:

flagpole photo's for audit 9

Routine maintenance can prevent severe damage and breakdown of neglected flag poles.

  • Inspect the foundation and base
  • Check the pole for signs of bending, fatigue, wear or weakness
  • Check halyards for signs of fraying, abrasion or weakness
  • Check the fittings
  • Lower and clean the finials to remove all dust and dirt build up
  • Check the rotating arms
  • Take down flags in wind exceeding 65 km/h

A word on flags

We don’t sell flags, but since we do engineer, fabricate, install flagpoles, we do know a few things about flags. For example, we know flags need maintenance, too.

  • Lower your flag when high wind is forecasted. Weather events, particularly wind events, impact your flag.
  • Lower your flags at night. You don’t have to worry about watching for weather changes.
  • Watch the corners for wear and fraying. Repair as soon as you notice it to prevent further damage.
  • Ensure your flag flies freely without contact to tree branches, buildings or other objects.
  • Routinely wash your flag in warm water.
  • Always dry your flag completely before storing.

Kew flagpoles featured in article

Kew flagpoles

Kew flagpoles

A recent article in the Leader community newspaper highlighted the new Intrack flagpoles in Kew. Give it a read.


Dandenong dons Christmas colours on Intrack flagpoles

Dandenong Christmas Flags (1)

Christmas flags fly high from Intrack flagpoles

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Dandenong. The Intrack team completed flagpole maintenance and flag change-over earlier this week for the Council.

It’s got us got us humming Christmas songs while visions of sugar plums dance in our heads.

Seasonal flags flown from Intrack’s high quality flagpoles keep your brand message fresh. Talk to us today. 
Dandenong Christmas Flags (2)


Flagpoles raise Frankston’s Eastlink profile

Frankston_Eastlink_flag2Intrack Systems Australia was pleased to become the preferred supplier for Frankston City Council and recently installed 11 x 10.0mtr flagpoles on the EastLink Freeway, Carrum Downs.

The flagpoles in themselves are a masterpiece. They are a stepped flagpole,125mm in diameter on a frangible slip base.  The planning and work required was huge.  Soil testing determined the required footing depth and every part of the flagpole was fully engineered to meet EastLink’s guidelines.

Frankston_Eastlink_flagsThanks to Matt for the work on drawings and a BIG thank you to Mark for working on the engineering of the flagpoles. Thanks to Alex for his help with the welding and assistance.  Also thanks to Greg, with his expertise on the fabrication and installation of the flagpoles.

The finished product is a credit to Intrack and, as a result, Frankston City Council now wants our assistance on future scheduled flag changeovers and ongoing maintenance.




Proudly Australian

Intrack is proudly Australian made.

It’s not new, just official.

Intrack is happy to announce we’ve joined the Australian Made Campaign to give our customers ready access to an Australian flagpole and sporting post manufacturer.

Australians want products manufactured in Australia and look to spend their dollars with companies that are here and reinvest in their communities. We understand this, because it’s what we do in our day-to-day life, too.

We took steps to verify Intrack’s Australian Made practices, to make it easier for clients to know they can trust what we say. You know it’s part of who we are and our core values.

And we think that’s pretty cool.