WIND — Its Effect on Flags and Flagpoles
Where the Wind Comes Sweeping. . .
Despite what the song says, Oklahoma isn't the only place on the map where heavy bursts of wind are commonplace. Every location in the United States is subject to high winds, and windspeed is one of the most important factors to consider for anyone selecting the outdoor American flag, residential flagpole, or commercial flagpole that best suits their needs.
What is Windspeed Rating?
Windspeed refers to the movement of air in an outside environment. Movement can be affected by many factors; geographic location, weather, pressure gradient, and jet streams. In the flag and flagpole industry, when we talk about windspeed ratings, it's nearly always in reference to a flagpole with a flag on it.
Why is Windspeed Important?
Windspeed is important to understand because high winds can cause unpleasant side effects for flag flyers. For example, a low-quality flag or a flag made of unsuitable material may not hold up to heavy winds, causing the flag to prematurely come apart at the seams or fray on the ends.
More importantly, however, a flagpole's windspeed rating is calculated according to the size of flag that the pole is engineered to fly. This is because wind can also wreak tremendous havoc on flagpoles.
Flag size and wind force are used to calculate the maximum wind-load on a flagpole. As a general rule, one quarter to one third of a flagpole's height is equivalent to the maximum length flag that should be flown on it. Display of an oversized flag could result in a flagpole that fails.
Furthermore, an oversized flag increases the amount strain on all of the other parts (snap hooks, weights, ropes, etc...), and can result in failures that lead to flag or flagpole damage.
If a second flag is flown from the same flagpole, the sizing equation changes and it is best to discuss optimal flag sizes with your flag professional.
Find Your Windspeed
Download the windspeed map below (click the image) to help you select the flagpole best suited to your location.
Bear in mind that this map is useful for ground-set flagpoles only. Poles affixed above ground or on the side of buildings are subject to different windspeeds.
Of course, if you would like some personalized advice, tailored to your specific location, please give us a call and we will be glad to help.
Click to download the Wind Speed Ratings Map. The map is based on a 50-year period of recurrence at an elevation of 30 feet.
What to Know Before Purchasing a Flagpole
Do You Have a Windspeed Story to Share?
Send us your pictures of American flags, flagpoles, ropes, or other accessories! We would be honored to feature your photography in our blog or on Facebook. Remember, photos of damaged flags and accessories are valuable, too.
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Have a great day, from your friends at LIBERTY FLAGS, The American Wave®.