How to make a hoist for a small flag

Updated July 20, 2017

A flag is hoisted up a flag pole using a pulley system--or a rope attached to a pole with a simple pulley, rope and a rope cleat at the bottom to keep the rope in place. It's a project that provides enjoyment for years to come as small flags can be hoisted for all occasions such as holidays, birthdays and parties. With a few tools and supplies, it's possible to make a hoist and pulley system for a small flag at home.

Thread a thin rope through the pulley at the top of the flag pole. The rope does not need to be very thick, around 1/4" will suffice to raise a small flag.

Drill two holes to attach the rope cleat about midway up the pole. Use a power drill and screws to drill pilot holes for the screws and nuts the rope cleat came with. Attach the rope cleat to the flag pole by threading the two screws through these holes and out the other side. Secure by threading two nuts onto the screw ends until tight.

Pull the rope through the pulley system until both ends are about 12 inches lower than the rope cleat on the flag pole. Trim the excess rope and tie the ends together using a double knot. Pull the rope through the pulley until the knot is at the back--on the opposite side from the side where the flag attaches.

Attach small flag rope clasps onto the rope spaced the same width as the grommet holes on the side of the flag. Follow instructions for the particular clasps purchased, although most clasps clip easily over a rope, keep the hook part of the clasp facing out.

Hook the flag onto the clasps on the rope at its grommets.

Raise the flag by pulling down on the rope just below the flag. When it is midway up the pole--or at the height required for the flag to fly--tie off the rope at the bottom by wrapping it several times around the rope cleat.


Make sure to remove the flag and bring it indoors during inclement weather to preserve the life of the flag.

Things You'll Need

  • 6-foot tall, 1-inch diameter flag pole with pulley
  • Drill
  • Small rope cleat kit
  • Small flag with grommets
  • Rope, 1/4" thick
  • Clasps for flag grommets
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About the Author

Anne Wilson is a writer and editor covering business and finance news, politics, issues affecting women and minorities, health, gardening, fashion and the environment. Most recently an associate editor for a nationally acclaimed magazine, Wilson also worked for The Associated Press and as a daily news reporter for several years. She has lived in California her entire life.