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Six Flags over TexasDriving around, I see a lot of poles flying the wrong sized flag. You’ve probably noticed, too. Some tall poles have very small flags, and vice versa. So how do you determine the correct size flag to put on your pole?

First let me say, that with all it contains, the US Flag Code does not address this aspect of flag flying. Second, there are a lot of opinions on this subject. Some have even devised elaborate formulas and charts showing their recommended flag to flag pole ratio.

Here’s my rule of thumb. You fly a flag that looks right; that has the right proportions. Your eye can tell just by looking, if the flag is large enough, but, you still ask, where do you start?

At 20%. Yep! If the hoist of your flag (or the height of the flag) is 20% of the height of the pole, you are in good shape. And since the numbers aren’t always exact, some judgment is required.

Here is a chart:

Flag to Pole Sizes

Pole Height Hoist Size Flag Size>
15′ 3′ 3′ X 5′
25′ 5′ 5′ X 8′
35′ 7′ 6′ X 10′
50′ 10′ 10′ X 15′

As you can see, some dimensions hit perfectly while others don’t. This is where your judgment comes in. On the 35′ pole, the 20% figure is 7′. Since this would require an odd size flag, moving to a 6′ or 8′ flag is easier and cheaper. Why did I list the 6′ flag? I think the 6′ flag would look better on a 35′ pole than the 8′. Could you fly the 8′ flag? Yes, if you think the larger flag looks better.

That’s all this is … just my opinion. That and a little common sense.

4 Responses to “Flag to Flag Pole Ratio”

  1. [...] around the base of the flagpole is heavily landscaped, and now those trees are quite tall. The flag is proportionate to the pole and and pleasing to the eye, but when flown at half-staff it drapes into the tops of the trees. I [...]

  2. [...] should have used the 20% rule … a flag’s hoist should be 20% of the flag pole’s height.  On a 100 foot [...]

  3. Nagarajan says:

    Respected Sir,
    I need more details about oman flag & flag pole standard size ratio.
    pls send me as soon as possible.

    Thangs & Regards

    KR Nagarajan
    SIUCI
    Oman

  4. Dear Mr. Nagarajan, Thank you for writing. I am sorry to tell you that I do not know anything about the flag of Oman. Oman may have special regulations regarding their flag, and it is not possible for me to know what those rules and regulations would be.

    Regarding the ratio of flag to pole: It is generally agreed among flag experts, that the length of the hoist side of a flag (the side of the flag that attaches to the rope or chain) should be no more than one-fourth the height of the pole, and some prefer no more than one-fifth the height of the flag pole. So, for example, on a 40 foot tall flag pole, one could fly a flag with a 10 ft long hoist.

    Here is a link to Flags of the World, and their page on Oman, which may be useful to you.

    Best Wishes,
    Deborah Hendrick

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