Written by Liza Hartung
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If you think back to your childhood, you will probably find that a few of your earliest school memories have flagpoles involved. Many of us had to pledge allegiance to the American flag every day before we started a single lesson. Perhaps you remember the American flag waving out front of your school or the places where your parents worked. Maybe you had one hanging outside of your home.

I personally remember the American flag on its wooden flagpole in my preschool class. First thing in the morning, two volunteers would help the teacher place the pole into its metal holder on the wall. It was rather heavy, so it could take a few moments on some mornings. Without a proper flagpole, however, flags would have to be tacked up to a wall or draped over a table.

Flags are meant to be free to fly in the air for all to see. They are meant to change direction as the wind blows. Aside from flags representing countries, there are flags for high schools, colleges, businesses, religions and more. They stand for freedom, peace, strength and determination. People can look at certain flags and be filled with pride and camaraderie.

Waving Your Flag High

Flags are perhaps such a grand symbol because they can be lifted over people's heads, over tall buildings, placed at the poles of the world and on the moon by the first to ever set foot there. A flagpole keeps the flag from blowing away in the wind but allows it to be free. With a flagpole, you can drive your flag into the ground, marking the territory and letting everyone know what you stand for.

In America, there are certain rules when dealing with the American flag. No matter what, it should never touch the ground. There are certain days when the President may declare that all American flags should be flown at half-mast. The flag should always be at half-mast on Pearl Harbor Day and Patriot Day. If you are flying the U.S. flag with flags of other nations, all flags must be at equal levels.

However, if you are flying the U.S. flag with flags from schools, sections of the military or anything that is not another nation, the U.S. flag must always be higher and at peak position. When flown in a group, the flag should be at the center position and always raised to peak.

Choosing a Flagpole

It may seem simple to go out and buy and flagpole. However, you will quickly discover that not only do you have several choices of materials, you also have choices of features. For instance, did you know that you can get flagpoles with anti-theft devices? This will prevent college students from removing the flag only to hoist a friend's unmentionables.

As far as materials go, you have choices such as fiberglass, wood and aluminum. You will also need to determine where the flagpole will go. Are you hanging it by your front door at home? Do you need big poles with heavy bases to be used outside of large buildings? Perhaps you need a freestanding pole that's easy to relocate between classrooms at school. Answering these questions will help you figure out the pole that is best for you.

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