Flagpole Guidelines

Flagpole guidelines regarding the height of a flagpole appropriate for various sized flags.

flagpole guidelines

Since the early days of this country, the U.S. Flag Code has outlined proper flag etiquette on everything from when, where, and how you should fly an American flag. But, did you know there are also general guidelines for the appropriate height of a flagpole?

American flags come in all sizes, from a handheld stick flag, to a large flag that covers an entire football field. The United States Flag Code suggests appropriate sizes flagpoles for various sized American flags. Use this list to ensure your flagpole matches your flag!


Small home flags:

  • 3 x 5 foot American flag– 15 to 20 feet high flagpole
  • 4 x 6 foot American flag– 20 to 25 feet high flagpole

American flag pole

Medium sized flags:

  • 5 x 8 foot American flag– 25 feet high flagpole
  • 6 x 10 foot (up to 8 x 12 foot) American flag– 40 to 45 feet high flagpole
  • 8 x 12 foot (up to 10 x 15 foot) American flags – 50 feet high flagpole

Large, commercially flown flags:

  • 10 x 15 or 10 x 19 American flags – 60 to 65 feet high flagpole
  • 10 x 19, up to 12 x 18 feet American flags – 70 to 80 feet high flagpole
  • 20 x 38 and 30 x 50 American flags – 90 to 100 feet high flagpole.

Knowing the general guidelines around the height of a flagpole versus size of the American flag, you can ensure you are properly flying your flag. Let us know in the comments below if this article was helpful or if you have additional questions! If you are interested in purchasing one of these flag poles be sure to check out CollinsFlags.com today! 

Credit: eHow.com

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104 Replies to “Flagpole Guidelines

  1. Hello,

    I am purchasing new flags for my business. We have a 50 foot flag pole and I see that the suggested size of the American flag is 8×12 to 10×15 – what if we also want to fly the State flag underneath? We want large flags, but surely it wouldn’t be right to buy 2 10×15’s – can you suggest what would work best?

    Thank you,
    CJ Jones

  2. i want the size versus purpose of flags. For example for parliament, for presidential office, for primier office, for ministries office, for universities, for schools and others, can you mention me?

  3. Hello — Is there a guideline for which way the halyard / rope should face on the flagpole? Towards the residence, facing the street, true north?

    Thank you

  4. Is it acceptable to use the flag pole with an American Flag flying on top as a “May Pole” on May 1st with the streamers set from below the flags? ( the height set for children at about 8 feet. The pole is about 20 feet tall.

  5. I’m curious what the short ties within the flag heading are called. They are used to secure a very large flag to the flagpole, the larger the flag, the more needed. Is there a specific name for these?

  6. My cemetery has about a 4 foot high 5 sided painted wood shroud around the 3 to 4 inch steel pole for the flag. The shroud is painted white and there are concrete emblems of all the services on each side of the shroud. Don’t know how it got built. Question: is the shroud protocol or is this taking away from the image of the flag?

  7. We recently aquired a building that is now a family practice physicians office. And it has a flagpole! I would love to fly an American flag. Is it okay to put a flag up and leave it up 24/7? I don’t want to be disrespectful, but my staff will not have time to take it down and put it up each day. I know that small towns usually put flags up before Memorial Day andleave them up for a few months.

    1. As long as it is properly lit at night there should be no issues with flying flags for months at a time. Make sure to pay attention to when it wears and tears and replace it at those times as well!

  8. What is the proper Pole Height for a 40’x80′ flag?

    What is the proper Flag Size for a pole that is 130′ tall?

  9. Is it proper to fly 3 flags on one pole and if so how tall should the pole be? The American will be 4X6 and the other two would be 3X5

  10. Is there a maximum flag size for flag poles? We have to have a standard and also a holiday/garrison size flag I just want to make sure the flag is not too heavy for the pole. We currently have a 70′ pole with a cross bar. Please let me know. Thank you

  11. Also we fly the POW underneath and we want to make sure the proper size flag, would you by any chance know what size flag goes with what?

  12. I just purchased a 10ft flag pole for the front of my house. Could you please give me some advice on the size flag that should be used with a 10ft pole.. Thank you

  13. Getting ready to set a 25′ flagpole American flag will be 4×6, and 2 military flags 3×5. (Army & Marines) just curious if there is a set order for the military Flags?

  14. I am getting ready to put a flag pole in my front yard. I have 2 questions
    1. Does the pole have to be steel/ metal
    2. What would be the proper height be to fly a 4×6 American flag and a 3×5 state flag

    1. There is no rule that we know of that specifies the material for a flagpole.
      Recommended pole height for a 3′ x 5′ flag is 15′ to 20′ flagpole.
      Recommended pole height for a 4′ x 6′ flag is 20’to 25′ flagpole.
      Based on that I would consider a 25′ pole for the 2 flags that you want to fly.

  15. If I want to fly three flags. American POW and the spirit flag on separate poles but lower in height then the American flag. Is it American flag in middle POW on left and Spirit on right but lower then the American Flag and how much lower should they be. Thanks

    1. When the flags are flown from adjacent staffs, the flag of the United States should be hoisted first and lowered last. No such flag or pennant may be placed above the flag of the United States.
      So according to this you are OK as long as the other flags are not above the US flag.

      Click here to view the complete Federal Flag Code!

  16. What is the proper flagpole layout for three flagpoles if each flag[pole is a different height. Should the American flag be to the extreme left or in the center? If the tallest is in the center what is the order of the other two poles according the height?

    1. If the poles are of different height, the US flag should be flown on the tallest of the three flagpoles. If the poles are all of equal height, the US flag should be flown to the far left.The order of the other two poles would be determined by the flags that you are flying on those two poles. For example, if the other two flags were a corporate flag and a state flag, then the state would go on the left and the corporate would go on the right. The link below will give you even more information, as well as a visual!


  17. When you have five flag poles, same height American flag goes to the left looking at the building from street level, correct?

  18. Ok, I am putting a flag pole in my yard. Is there any regulation as to where distence from the house,fence.
    and can I fly two flags on a 20″ pole. Thank you

  19. Is there a recommendation for height of flag pole compared to height of neighboring building? Should the flag pole be the same-ish height, taller, or shorter? (for putting in a new pole, for example)

  20. I have a 20 foot pole and a 3×5 American Flag. I would like to fly the Marine flag below the American Flag, what size Marine Flag should I get?

  21. We are building a new Library and have a spot for the flag pole, we now need to add a bike rack. Are there any rules about how close other objects are to the flag pole?

  22. We are raising funds to purchase a flag and pole for our school. Is there a recommended height for schools? How far from the road does the pole need to be?
    Thank you!

    1. There is no hard and fast rule for the flagpole height for commercial applications or for the distance you would put the flagpole from the from the road. It would be helpful if we could better understand the location that you want to place the flagpole. Pictures of the site can be useful as well. If you contact us at the phone number listed on our blog, someone on our staff would be happy to guide you on what we would recommend.

  23. I have a 30 foot flag pole and i want to use a 6×10 flag. This size flag will catch a lot of wind, what size rope should I use to make sure it’s secure? Is it possible to use a plastic coated cable?

  24. Saw a business that has decided to display a US flag at the top of the light poles that are on the perimeter of their parking lot. There are a dozen or more of these light poles with flags. Note that these are light poles with large light fixtures at the top, as one might expect. These are NOT flag poles, and the business has only recently begun displaying the flag in this way. The flag on each light pole has been raised to immediately below the fixture. I can’t find specific language that prohibits the display of the US flag in this way, but it definitely looks inappropriate in my opinion. Is there anything that specifies that a pole used to display the flag can not serve multiple purposes? I get that illuminating the flag 24/7 is expected, but this illumination is primarily to light up a parking lot. This use looks more like using the flag for advertising, which is clearly not permitted. Thanks for your opinion.

  25. We are fixing to put up 3 flag poles at our church. 1 American, 1 Christian, 1North Carolina. Is that the correct order? Can we fly the Israel flag under the Christian flag??
    Thank you —

    1. Answer :We found no order of prominence for the flags that you mentioned except that the US flag is always to be at the top of the flagpole.
      Link to the Federal Flag code https://www.collinsflags.com/flagCodeExample.pdf

      Subsection 7(g) states:
      (g) When flags of two or more nations are displayed, they are to be flown from separate staffs of the same height. The flags should be of approximately equal size. International usage forbids the display of the flag of one nation above that of another nation in time of peace.41

    1. We could find no standard answer for your question as the distance would vary based on the height of the pole. In all of the images that I have seen the yardarm would be placed a few inches (6″- 12″) below where the flag at the peak is at rest. If not the hardware that attaches the yardarm to the pole would cause the flag at the peak to fray on the fly end. We hope that this helps.

    1. This would be a matter of choice and what you felt would look the best. Many commercial establishments like to put the flagpole near their signage as the fluttering flag will draw attention.

  26. The 4 x 6 flag on our 25′ pole looks small. I would like to change out the flag and install an 8 x 12. What are your thoughts on this?

    1. The recommended flag size based on pole length would be 4 x 6′ flag. An 8 x 12′ flag might look somewhat over loaded on that pole, and it could be a challenge from a wind loading standpoint as well. You might like the look of a 5 x 8′ flag.

        1. I have the same situation. A 25′ pole with a 5’x8′ flag, but it looks too small. Can i use a 6’x10′? Thanks

          1. You can fly any size flag that you want from your flagpole. The challenge with oversizing the flag is that when flying your flag in heavy winds you could damage (bend) your pole. Thanks for the question!

  27. We are wanting to put a flagpole in our front yard. We want a 4×6 American flag and a 3×5 Marine Corp flag on the same pole. What height pole should we get?

    1. We highly recommend a 25′-30′ flagpole for displaying these flags. A 30′ flagpole for flying the two flags that you want to fly would be the best visually, and also the most structurally sound. Either a 25′-30′ flagpole should work well for you. We will also provide a link to our entire selection of flagpoles that you can view if you’re interested. If you have any additional questions or want to speak to one of us you can call 1-800-950-4061, or just leave another comment below and we will be more than happy to help!


  28. I have a dead tree that is about 20 feet tall and would like to know if I can use it as a flag pole?

    1. We don’t recommend that you fly your flag from a tree as opposed to a flagpole, but you can if you choose. We have seen a number of displays such as cranes, poles, ladders, etc. Flying the flag from a tree is not going to be the best option for prolonging the life of your flag, but as long as the flag is displayed in a respectful manner then you should be fine.

  29. I am wanting to construct/place a single flag pole behind the center field fence of our high school baseball diamond (just displaying the American flag). Is a 25′ pole seem/sound like an adequate enough height? Is there a standard height you are familiar with that other baseball fields construct?

    1. There is no standard for height of the flagpole for this purpose. Recommended flag size for a 25’ flagpole is 4’x6’. To get a bit more attention, a 30’ flagpole would use a 5’x8’ flag. If the flag will be flown for night games you will want to have a light to illuminate the flag for flying after dark.

  30. We are contemplating putting up a flag pole in our front yard to fly our country’s beautiful flag along with the Marine Corp flag to honor my Father in Law. I truly enjoyed reading all the Q & A’s regarding flags, poles, lighting, heights etc. Thank you for a great website and your dedication to your customers.

  31. Dear Collins Flags, We recently donated our 10’/15′ nylon American flag to our village to be flown by it’s waterfront park on their 50′- 60′ steel yardarm flag pole. After accepting concerns came up regarding any safety issues. We for some years had flown this flag and others at our office on our 40′ fiberglass flag pole in a different town. Yes it appeared large and we always received positive feedback from the town officials and the community. Can you help us with any data to ease the concerns of our local village officials. Thanks for your help and this website.

  32. I have 3 flagpoles.They are the same hieght,same size.From the left fly US flag,VN flag and to the right fly Budda flag.IS that right?Thank you.

  33. I work for a municipality that takes handles the flag duties at a library, the building was built in the 40″s and the flag pole is on the roof, the pole is approximately 6′ long and extends from a mount at the top of the building, we currently use a 3×5 flag, is there a minimum height requirement for a flag pole? and is it required to lower the flag to half staff on a pole that short? its hard to even tell its been lowered.

    1. You may mount the U.S. flag on whatever size flagpole that you choose. There are no minimum requirements when it comes to flagpole height, but there are suggestions. On that short of a flagpole, however, you wouldn’t be able to half-staff the flag like you could on a regular flagpole. The important thing is that you’re flying the flag in a respectful manner. If you’re interested in knowing what flagpole size is the right size for you, then we attached a link to one of our YouTube videos that gives some helpful information regarding the 3’x5′ flag and recommended flagpole size. Link to video: 3’x5′ U.S. Flag Detail and Flag Facts

  34. I have three flag poles the same size. I have a U.S. flag, a State flag, and a company flag. As I am coming out of my building, on which flag pole is the U.S. flag on, the one to the far left or far right…?

    1. The flag order from left to right should be the American flag first, state flag second, and the company flag third. They should be positioned so that when civilians are walking by the U.S. flag would be on their left. So if you were walking out of your building towards the street the U.S. flag would be on your right, that way the American flag appears to be on the left for those who are passing by. I hope this helps!

  35. What size flagpole would be appropriate for carrying a flag. The Flag is 3’x5′. The flag will also be used as a stationary display inside a building.

    1. Charles. We sell our 3×5 indoor/parade flag most often with an 8-foot pole. We have seen people use a 7-foot pole, as well as a 9-foot pole for their flag. It really comes down to preference and indoor ceiling height. Please feel free to contact one of our knowledgeable customer service representatives if you have further questions.

  36. Can you provide the concise standard language explaining the flags that can be flown on the same halyard as the flag of the United States of America. Asking because my company is considering flying additional flags, but we only have one flag pole, however we would be willing to erect another flag pole to avoid any conflicts with those in our military or veterans that see the U.S. flag code as very prescriptive. My understanding is the only flags that can be flown below and no larger than the U.S. flag are: 1) State flag, city or municipal flag, POW-MIA flag and pennants of societies. The pennants of societies is what I need greater clarity. For example, could I could fly a “Society of Black Engineers” under the U.S. flag, but not a “Special Olympics” flag? Another example, could I fly a “Society of Women Engineers” under the U.S. flag, but not an “Earth Day” flag? Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

  37. I would like to install short angled flag poles either side of my house entry, is there a specific angle and any other codes to adhere to?

  38. Can you have a perennial flower, such as a clematis, growing up a flag pole while having a flag at the top? Its a very tall flag pole

  39. Hi. I have a flag pole that is too tall for our building. Would it be okay to use a smaller flag pole with the same size flag?

    1. It depends on the size of the flagpole and the also the size of the flags you are trying to fly. We would need a little more information about the flags and size of the flagpole in order to help assist you further. Too large of flags could stress and even bend a flagpole.

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