Check your retainer rings

Three (3) reasons to check your flag pole retainer rings — right now!

We've been talking about necessary flag maintenance in the early stages of this spring, so this week, we'll address an accessory that often goes under-noticed by flag flyers — retainer rings.

For those who have external halyards, this information does not apply to you, but those who fly flags on an internal halyard flagpole will have a retainer ring stabilizing the flag and halyard on the flag pole.

These retainer rings are large beads of nylon threaded along a core of stainless steel cable. While the beads will allow the flag to move up and down on the flagpole, flags flown in areas where the wind changes direction often will notice that the nylon will sustain wear as the flag shifts around the flagpole. Here are the three stages of deterioration.

See various flagpole parts and accessories here.

Why check flagpole retainer rings?

#1: The beads flatten.

First, as the flag rotates around the flagpole, the nylon beads which protect both the flag and the flagpole, begin to wear flat on one side. This makes it difficult for the beads to roll up along the pole. While the ring will continue to retain the flag to the pole, the flag will not be able to move as freely up and down.

#2: The beads wear through or break.

If left long enough, worn beads will eventually wear completely through or break. This exposes the stainless steel cable at the core of the ring. Furthermore, this exposes the fabric of the flag to the stainless steel cable and to the potential for snags or rips.

#3: The cable damages the flagpole.

Lastly, when most of the beads have worn through or the cable has been exposed long enough, the ring can now damage the flag and the flagpole. This damage occurs because of the metal-on-metal friction, resulting in dark discoloration on the pole — and worse yet, the same discoloration can stain the flag itself. In extreme situations, the ring can damage the pole enough to warrant its replacement.

All this is to say, check your retainer rings, and take care to replace yours as soon as is necessary! This spring, stay up to date on your flagpole's maintenance. Doing so can save you tremendous amounts of money in the long run. Also, send us your pictures of flags, flagpoles, ropes, or other accessories! We would be honored to feature your photography in our blog or on Facebook.>

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Have a great day, from your friends at LIBERTY FLAGS, The American Wave®.

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