How to Make a Color Guard Flag Pole

Written by r.l. cultrona
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If you have ever watched a high school or college marching band in performance, you have probably noticed a large number of people waving and spinning flags. These members of the band form what is known as a colour guard, and their job is to provide a visual element to the music. They use several tools to do this, most noticeably large flags on poles, which they spin and throw to the beat of the music. If you are a member of a colour guard and wish to build your own pole, it is a matter of getting the right materials.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • 2-inch wide aluminium or PVC pipe
  • Two rubber stoppers
  • Measuring tape
  • Hacksaw or PVC cutter
  • Vice
  • Drill with 1/2-inch metal bit
  • 1/2-inch-wide bolts and nuts

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Decide on a length for your flag pole. If you are in high school, this will probably be six feet, but some colour guards (especially college and professional colour guards) use longer poles.

  2. 2

    Place the piece of pipe in a vice to hold it steady. Measure the length you decided on, and cut the pipe with the saw or the PVC pipe cutter to get the required length.

  3. 3

    Place a rubber stopper at either end. This will protect the ends of the pole if you drop the flag while performing.

  4. 4

    Drill a hole (or several holes) at one end of the pipe and place the bolt through the pipe. Screw the nut on the other end of the pipe. This is the top of the flag pole and will add weight. The screw is optional, but heavier flags are easier to spin.

Tips and warnings

  • The material you choose will be determined by the effect you are looking for. An aluminium pipe will be sturdy and give nice straight lines. A PVC pipe has a bit of a give, and some nice artistic curves can be achieved in performance
  • When learning to spin the pole, be careful. This is a piece of metal and can harm you if you drop it on your head.

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