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April 27, 2012

Suspended flagpole

Today is Freedom Day in South Africa, a commemoration of our first inclusive elections in 1994. Here's a classic flag pole flying the South African Flag, which flew for the first time 18 years ago today.

This 3m (10 foot) lath flag pole is suspended from four stakes (we use 20mm steel stakes, but you can use wooden stakes if your soil is soft). A jury masthead supports the base of the flagpole and is attached to the four stakes with the lower guy lines. The top guys are tied on the the pole with rolling hitches, and looped to the stakes with trucker's hitches so that they can be adjusted and tensioned.

The key to making this flagpole work is accuracy: all of the stakes should be leaning out at the same angle, in a perfect square, and the jury masthead should be at the dead centre between them. The top guys should be tightened in opposite pairs if possible (this takes two people).

Check out this set on Flickr for a step-by-step guide to building an even bigger suspended flagpole.


Peregrine John said...

I need to send you pictures of the tensegrity flagpole I made for my son's troop. It's right in line with your things here, and partly inspired by them

Peter Le Roux said...

Thanks John, that sounds good. I'm always keen to see tensegrity projects