Poles for Prayer Flags

Our Metal Flagpoles

After much searching for affordable flagpoles we finally decided to make our own.  They are made from ½” EMT electrical conduit (3/4” OD).  They can be ordered through our website.  They come either painted (dark blue) or unpainted and are available in 3 lengths.

Prices:
Unpainted      
    (FP-7.5)      7’-6”……..$40
    (FP-10)     10’-0”…….$45
    (FP-12.5)  12’-6”…….$50

Painted (Blue)
    (FP-7.5B)      7’-6”……$45
    (FP-10B)     10’-0”……$50
    (FP-12.5)     12’-6”……$55   

Other Poles
Besides the steel poles that we sell there are several other possibilities for flag poles.   

Bamboo Poles
The grace and strength of bamboo makes it a good choice for prayer flag poles. If you can get bamboo where you live - that would probably be the cheapest for you. Garden supply stores often carry bamboo poles. If you live in an area where bamboo grows, neighbors are often delighted to get rid of some of theirs. Try to get something around 1 inch diameter. If you harvest your own bamboo leave a few branches and leaves on the top – that’s traditional.

Bamboo Poles from Radiant Heart
We offer 4 lengths of beautifully lacquered bamboo poles that are cut and jointed in manageable lengths for transporting. They are actually Taiwanese fishing poles. The poles can be disassembled and reassembled so it’s possible to take prayer flags on camping trips, on picnics, to the beach, and other outdoor events. These poles are not as thick as we'd like them to be but they’re inexpensive and easy to ship. We recommend that these bamboo poles be taken down in the rainy season; large wet prayer flags are often too heavy for these poles and they may break. We've had no problems at all in the summertime in California. We don’t have these poles on our website because we’re not entirely satisfied with them. If you wish to purchase our lacquered bamboo poles email us (radiantheart@prayerflags.com) or phone us (800-853-2010).

Item No: (FP-102) 10 ft. (2 pieces) $12
Item No: (FP-123) 12 ft. (3 pieces) $16
Item No: (FP-143) 14 ft. (3 pieces) $20
Item No: (FP-163) 16 ft. (3 pieces) $24

We recommend 10’ poles for the 2 print vertical flags, 12’ or 14’ for the 4 print vertical flags and 14’ or 16’ for the 6 print vertical flags.

Metal Poles
Metal pipe is the main choice seen in Asia now days. It can be painted (usually sky blue or green). 1/2” – 1 1/2” diameter steel electrical conduit (EMT) can be purchased from most hardware stores. It comes in 10 foot lengths. Sections of conduit can be joined with set-screw or compression couplings. A 5/8” x 4’’ hardwood dowel also works well for connecting two sections of conduit.

Thick-walled copper pipe will also work for a pole although it’s more expensive than steel or aluminum.

Wood Poles
2” diameter or thicker wood poles are a possibility if you live in an area where saplings are available. The bottom end should be painted with wood preservative before being placed in the ground. Drainage around the bottom of the pole is advised – by using rocks or gravel in the hole surrounding the pole.

Plastic Poles
Some of our customers tell us they use 1” diameter schedule 40 rigid poly pipe with excellent results. They flex a little but are strong enough. A coupling can be used to split the pipe, allowing the pole to be taken apart to change the flag without taking the pole out of the ground. Some customers have used a larger diameter pipe on the bottom and a reducing coupler.

Commercial Flag Poles
The poles we found on the Internet were pretty expensive and many were too tall, thick or heavy, requiring a poured concrete footing. Our prayer flags don’t require such expensive big poles.
Here are two nice poles that we found:
- 15ft. telescoping fiberglass pole for  $78 (plus shipping) (http://www.flagpolesetc.com/flagpoles/fiberglass-telescoping-flagpoles.html). 
- 16 ft. telescoping aluminum pole (2” diameter) for $55  (http://www.united-states-flag.com/15teflonstbr.html)

Placing the Poles
For bamboo, metal or plastic poles merely driving a stake or pipe in the ground about a foot and then removing it leaves a sufficient hole into which the pole can be inserted. Once the pole is in place compact the dirt around the pole.

Placing a plastic or metal sleeve in the hole with a slightly larger inside diameter than the outside diameter of your pole is a nice addition. This allows the pole to rotate as the wind direction changes thus keeping the flag from wrapping around the pole. We sell out metal poles with a 1ft. long base piece. A sleeve can also be cast into a concrete base. This makes changing the flags and poles a simple procedure. I put drain holes in my concrete bases to allow any water to escape from the sleeve.

Questions and Comments
We appreciate any other suggestions you might have concerning flagpoles or the design of our prayer flags. If you have and questions we would be happy to try to answer them. Email us at radiantheart@prayerflags.com or phone us at 800-853-2010.