How To Install a Flagpole

If you’re reading this handy guide to flagpole installation, you’re probably looking to show pride in your state or country by flying a flag. Lost on where to start? Learn how to install a flagpole firmly in the ground to keep it secure.

What materials will you need? This may vary slightly depending on the flagpole, but here’s a basic list of items to have on hand.

  • Concrete
  • Gravel
  • Sand (make sure it's clean and dry)
  • Auger
  • Shovel
  • Plumb line
  • Level
  • Wooden shims (to make sure the flagpole stays level)
  • Caulk (specifically the outdoor kind)
  • Mixing tray for your concrete

Now that you’ve gathered your materials, it’s time to select a location to install a residential flagpole. Choose a spot where you can see it from indoors while passersby can get an equally majestic view. In addition, pick a place that gets plenty of wind, so your flag can really fly!

Before you dig, make sure it’s safe to do so by calling 811—the “Call Before You Dig” line. Premature digging can cause you to hit power lines or underground pipes. Have a technician survey the area and give you the thumbs-up before picking up your auger and shovel.

Use an auger to dig a deep hole for flagpole installation—about six times the diameter of the butt of your flagpole. For depth, add six inches to the length of your ground sleeve (which should come with your flagpole).

Fill those six inches at the bottom with gravel, and set up the ground sleeve right on top of it. As you prepare your cement, use wooden shims and a plumb line to make sure the ground sleeve stays plumb (level on two axes). Use your shovel to gently pack that wet cement around your ground sleeve—not inside.

Cure that cement overnight so that it dries into concrete. Meanwhile, grab your flagpole and assemble it, including any trucks and halyards. When you’re ready to put that pole into the earth, enlist some help to install the flagpole in the ground. Carefully guide it into the ground sleeve—this is the trickiest part of the job, but having others there to help you will make the process easier.

Once you’ve gotten the pole fully into the ground sleeve, ensure that it stands plumb! Enlist your helpers and use a level; once you’ve hit that sweet spot, start loading sand into the ground sleeve. Fill it slowly as your helpers hold the pole in place until the sand is 1/2 inch from the top of the sleeve. Use a sealant on top of the sand to make absolutely sure that the pole stays in place.

Now it’s time to hoist your flag or flags! Since you now know how to install a flagpole yourself, flying the flag will be the easiest part.