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.
Paint all your timber (including the pegs) with two coats of white paint.
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.
Drive two stakes into the ground 1m apart then screw a 1m brace to each stake.
Get someone to help you raise the pole. Be careful of power and phone lines, as the heights of these are deceptive.
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.
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.