Glossary

Description of standard flag parts and terms:

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Badge – a coat of arms or simple heraldic symbol, such as a shield.

Canton – any quarter of a flag, but commonly means the upper left (hoist) quarter, such as the field of stars in the flag of the United States or the Union Flag in the Australian Flag.

Charge – a figure or symbol appearing in the field of a flag.

Emblem – a device often used as a charge on a flag. It may be heraldic in origin or modern, for example the maple leaf on the Canadian Flag.

Field – the background of a flag; the colour behind the charges.

Fimbriation – a narrow edging or border, often in white or gold, on a flag to separate two other colours.

Fly – the half or edge of a flag furthest away from the flagpole. This term also sometimes refers to the horizontal length of a flag.

Hoist – the half or edge of a flag nearest to the flagpole. This term also sometimes refers to the vertical width of a flag.

Length – the span of a flag along the side at right angles to the flagpole.

Width – the span of a flag down the side parallel to the flagpole.

Techniques in displaying a flag:

Hoist – the act or function of raising a flag, as on a rope.

Half Staff – a style of flag display in which the flag is hoisted to half of the potential height of the available flag pole. Usually this is done by first raising the flag to the top, then lowering it halfway. (Equally valid 'half-masting' is flying the flag at two-thirds of its normal height.) This usually denotes distress or a show of grief, such as mourning a death.

Half Mast – same as Half Staff. The use of 'mast' suggests naval use, but typically the two terms are interchangeable.

Distress – flying the flag upside-down.

The Flagpole Dictionary:

Butt diameter - Diameter at base of pole.

Cleats - Items, which are attached to the flagpole, shaft, wall, or at some other desired location. The halyard is wrapped around the cleat(s) to prevent the flag from moving up/down the pole.

Counterbalanced flagpole - Consists of mounting to a counterweight (box filled with counter weight material with base plate and support channels) to allow pole to be rotated to the ground for special maintenance needs.

Double revolving truck - Is an assembly that mounts to the top of the flagpole and has a pulley on either side. The assembly includes bearings that allow it to turn with the wind.

External halyard - Rope system for raising and lowering flag located on outside of pole.

Finial - Ball, eagle or other assembly used to finish off the top of your flagpole.

Finish - The surface appearance or texture of the flagpole. Standard finishes include satin, anodized and several powder paints.

Flash collar - Fits over the ground sleeve and bottom of the pole to protect it from the elements and gives the base a finished look.

Gaff - Extension, particularly in nautical poles, double masted, on which flags can be displayed. Typically at an angle.

Ground sleeve - Foundation sleeve fabricated from either a corrugated steel tube or PVC.

Ground set foundation - A support structure which includes an area of concrete with the ground sleeve properly installed into it. Sizes vary based on pole sizes and locations.

Internal halyard - Rope or cable system located on the inside of a pole for raising and lowering a flag. Accessed through a hinged door compartment in shaft

Nautical - A flagpole with a yard arm attached. (Typically used around water) Single and double mast varieties exist.

Outrigger - An External Halyard Flagpole that is mounted to the side of a building at an angle.

Shoe base foundation - Pole or a support structure which normally includes a set of anchor bolts embedded into an area of concrete. A shoe base flagpole which utilizes a welded base casting would sit over the anchor bolts and be held in place with nuts, flat washers and lock washers.

Single revolving truck - Is an assembly that mounts to the top of the flagpole and has a pulley on one side. The assembly includes bearings that allow it to turn with the wind. Single revolving is the Industry Standard.

Snap hooks - Used to attach flag to rope or cables.

Stationary Truck - A pulley assembly that mounts to the top of the flagpole with set screws. This system is more economical and requires less maintenance than the revolving style.

Vertical Wall Mounted Flagpole - Typically an External Halyard Flagpole that is mounted to the side of a building vertically, using fabricated brackets which bolt to the structure.

Wall thickness - Thickness of the aluminum tubing used. This varies based on wind requirements and pole size.

Winch - On internal halyard system flagpoles. Mechanism typically with gears for raising and lowering flags with a handle.

Yard Arm - A tapered spar that runs horizontal and is attached to the flagpole at some position above ground. Used on Nautical Flagpoles to create a nautical feature which may be used to fly small nautical flags.

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