How do you usually spend Memorial Day? Why not honor the holiday appropriately by installing a flagpole in your front yard or business entrance? If you’ve thought about doing this project for a while, there’s no better time than Memorial Day Weekend!
Why We Celebrate Memorial Day
It’s easy to forget the meaning behind Memorial Day when you’re sitting at the poolside enjoying your day off. However, the holiday is about much more than just lounging on a three-day weekend.
Memorial Day – formerly called Decoration Day – started after the Civil War to honor the soldiers who gave their lives, both in the North and South. While scattered celebrations dotted the country, it wasn’t until after World War II that the holiday gained national acceptance.
Decoration Day changed to Memorial Day in 1967, and in 1968, the Uniform Holiday Act designated the last Monday in May (instead of May 30) as the date to honor all American servicemen and women who have died serving their country in the Armed Forces.
Flag Traditions Associated with Memorial Day
Many people have their own Memorial Day Weekend traditions, from having a barbecue to attending a local parade to watching a baseball game. These lighthearted family activities are certainly appropriate for a day dedicated to remembering fallen loved ones, but are you familiar with the traditions surrounding the American flag?
- Etiquette states that on Memorial Day, the US flag should be temporarily raised to the top of the pole in the morning, and then dropped to half-staff for the remainder of the holiday.
- Some Americans choose to honor prisoners of war and family members who are missing in action by displaying POW/MIA flags.
- Many national cemeteries around the country have a custom of placing a small American flag on each grave.
Installing a Flagpole in Honor of Memorial Day
Show your patriotism by installing a flagpole in time for Memorial Day! Just follow these DIY instructions.
Before You Dig
- Call 811. This ensures you don’t unintentionally hit an underground pipe or wire.
- Choose a spot with no overhead wires. If the metal pole touches an electric wire, you could be in for a lethal shock.
- Wait for a calm day. A 20-foot flagpole can easily sway out of control if you attempt to install it in the wind.
- Get help if you need it. A second pair of hands can make raising a flagpole much easier.
Set the Ground Tube
- Dig a hole 20 inches deep and 12 to 18 inches in diameter.
- Fill the hole six inches deep with gravel.
- Insert the ground tube into the hole and work it into the gravel.
- Insert the bottom flagpole section into the tube. Make sure the pole is plumb by holding a carpenter’s level to it.
- Pour concrete into the hole until it reaches one-half-inch from of the top of the ground tube. Make sure no concrete gets inside.
- Use the level to plumb the ground tube again before the concrete sets.
- Allow the concrete to cure for 24 to 48 hours.
Install the Flagpole
- Assemble the pulley, halyard, rope cleat, and other parts of the flagpole according to the instructions in your kit.
- Slip the thin end of each section into the fat end of the section above it. Tighten each section by hand.
- Tie the halyard off around the cleat.
- Insert the pole into the ground tube.
- Install snap hooks and attach the flag.
- Raise the flag and fly it proudly this Memorial Day!
For help installing a flagpole and performing other yard work this summer, please contact The Grounds Guys®.