Weekend Project

Justin Newcombe's tips on outdoor DIY projects

Weekend Project: Show off your colours

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Justin Newcombe builds a double flag pole. Photo / Steven McNicholl
Justin Newcombe builds a double flag pole. Photo / Steven McNicholl

Justin Newcombe gets into the spirit of events with a dual flagpole project so you can hoist your team allegiances for all to see.

Flags are great way to mark an occasion: landing on the moon, winning a car race or generally rubbing someone else's nose in it. Flags can be heavy with history and ideology and though I think they are often taken too seriously, I can't help but like a good flag design.

Since there's a rather large event in New Zealand at the moment (that's right, it's Fashion Week) I thought flying a flag might be a good way to mark the occasion. I guess the thing about the World Cup (the other rather large event that is imminent) is that though it is a rugby event in New Zealand, it is not about New Zealand per se. So just flying the New Zealand flag seemed a little inappropriate - I want to be a welcoming host. So I went for a home and away theme and built two flagpoles.

A peculiarity about being a New Zealander is it seems a little "out there" to fly your own flag in your own front yard, unlike in the United States where flags take on a rather eccentric and, in some eyes, unhealthy reverence.

It occurred to me that this is only the second New Zealand flag I've ever owned, the first being a small plastic one my mum gave me to wave at the Queen during her 1974 visit. Although I waved it as fast as my little arm would pump, the Queen didn't stop and comment on my nice flag nor my tired arm, a snub I still have difficulty in rationalising.

Building the flagpole proved to be relatively easy. I used a 5m length of 50mm x 75mm timber for the pole and braced it using 50mm x 50mm in 1m and 2m lengths. I want my lawn back after the Cup so, rather than concreting the poles in, I secured them with removable long stakes driven into the ground - one for each brace and one for the pole. If you have one, you could always secure the flagpole to an existing fencepost.

Step 1
Paint all your timber (including the pegs) with two coats of white paint.

Step 2
At the top of the flagpole attach a pulley. Attach a cleat 1.5m from the bottom of the pole to secure the rope to. Run the rope through the pulley at the top to the cleat and tie, forming a big loop.

Step 3
Drive two stakes into the ground 1m apart then screw a 1m brace to each stake.

Step 4
Get someone to help you raise the pole. Be careful of power and phone lines, as the heights of these are deceptive.

Step 5
Screw the braces attached to the stakes into the pole. Check the pole is level drive a peg right next to the pole and attach the pole to the peg.

Step 6
The next two pegs are horizontal to the first and are both 1m away from the pole. Drive in the pegs, attach the 2m-long braces and run up the flag.

- NZ Herald

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