On Oct. 3, 2020, I posted a pitiful photo of my American Flag that was torn almost in two by a gust of wind or just general tiredness.
At the time, I remarked somberly (and maybe a little too dramatically) that I was afraid that flag was a symbol of this nation that was almost ripped apart, and hanging on by a thread.
I’m happy to say that my new flag is flying proudly from a unique flagpole I engineered, partially by accident.
That’s Bill and Rhonda Bolton’s house in the background on a fine Fall day. We always called it the Tinker House because Bob and Mary Tinker lived there for years. The Boltons have lived in it long enough that it’s probably time to rename the place.
How I made the flagpole
My previous flag was attached to a pole in front of the house. When the rose bushes got high, the flag would snag on the thorns. I figured I could solve that problem if I moved it out in the yard.
After scratching my head a bit, I went to the hardware store and discovered that a 10-foot length of 1-inch galvanized pipe would easily slip inside a 30-inch piece of 1-1/4-inch pipe sunk 24 inches into concrete.
I wanted to make it possible to back a trailer into the yard to get firewood, so this lets me take out the long pole and only leave the sleeve sticking out above the ground about six inches.
I drilled holes through both pipes with the intention of putting a bolt through them, but it was after dark when I finished, so I turned the flag and pole in the direction where I thought it would be best and went to bed.
Serendipity sets in
The next morning, I was surprised to see the flag in exactly opposite of the direction it was the previous night.
While I was standing there, a gust of wind rotated the whole pole. I was mesmerized. Figuring there was no way that pole was going to jump out of the sleeve, I decided to forgo the bolts and let it act as a weather vane.
Here’s what it looked like on a gusty day this week. The halo-looking thing at the top is a solar-powered LED array to light the flag at night. The flag sticks up so high that the porch dusk-to-dawn lights only hit the lower half of it.
To be honest, I’m not overly happy with the performance of the halo light, but it’s up there.
One other cool thing is that the pipes make a spooky moaning or groaning sound when they rotate more that about 25 degrees. I couldn’t figure out where the weird sound was coming from until one afternoon when I was outside loading the car and made the connection.
The 10-foot pole is rigid. The “bouncing” is caused by the play from the sleeve being larger than the pole. It’s not going anywhere.
Veterans Day is an appropriate time to show off my new flag.