Our Guidon flagpoles are light ash finish, chrome or gold bottom ferrule with chrome or silver army spear (spade) pole is 7′, 8′ or 9′ x 1-1/4″ with a Slight Taper.
7′ pole is 94.5″ overall
8′ pole is 106.5″ overall
9′ pole is 119.5″ overall
8′ pole with no bottom ferrule point ROUND BOTTOM 102 3/4″ overall
Guidon Flagpole In military organizations, the practice of carrying colours, standards or guidons, both to act as a rallying point for troops and to mark the location of the commander, is thought to have originated in Ancient Egypt some 5,000 years ago. It was formalized in the armies of medieval Europe, with standards being emblazoned with the commander’s coat of arms.
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Information below courteous of www.thedrillmaster.org
The bottom metal piece is called a ferrule and not a pike. A ferrule keeps wood from splitting. The staff pictured here, courtesy ofwww.aboutflags.com, is the only staff that military honor guard units use. Army units have used the gold-colored metal pieces.
Flagstaffs for a color team need to be the exact same height and there is a standardized height system for the staffs plus some other rules that you’ve probably never heard of. Let’s get started (this is from my book, The Honor Guard Manual):
USAF Technical Order 00-25-154, Maintenance and Storage of United States Flags, Air Force Flags, Guidons and Streamers, states:
- Ceremonial flags* are 4 feet 4 inches by 5 feet 6 inches and the flagstaff for a ceremonial flag is 9 feet 6 inches including the ferrule. (The Army’s TC 3-21.5 also describes this.)
- Organizational flags* are 3 feet by 4 feet and the flagstaff for an organizational flag is 8 feet including the ferrule.
*Ceremonial flags are used all of the time on color teams. Organizational flags are for permanent/temporary posting.
Never march 9′ 6″ poles with 3′ x 5′ flags since it looks very unprofessional or 8′ poles with 4′ 4″ x 5′ 6″ flags because the flags are too long.
- Flagstaffs must match the size of the flags:
- For outdoors and high-ceilings indoors a color team uses flagstaffs that are 9’ 6” with 4’ 4″ x 5’ 6” fringed flags.
- Indoor and posted colors use 7’ 9” or 8’ 5” (either, do not mix heights) flagstaffs and 3’ x 5’ fringed flags*.
- Guidon flags are flown from a guidon flagstaff that is 7’ high.
- Each service uses the two-piece light ash wood flagstaff. No metal poles or dark brown wood.
*On occasion a color team needs to use the smaller staffs and flags due to room height and crowd size. The standard for a color team should be the larger, ceremonial sizes, however.
The Flagstaff Ornament
A note on the device on top of the flagstaffs: A nickel-plated (for USAF) or brass-plated (for Army) Army spear is preferred for a color team however. For the US flag the Army, Marines and USAF do not use anything other than the Army spear/spade. Several military regulations state that the eagle is reserved for the president’s flag; an eagle is never used on a marching flagstaff unless it is for the president. AR 840-10 says the Army will use a “spearhead”; AFI 34-1201 says the USAF will use a “spade”; the Navy’s NTP 13B says the Navy will use a “ball” or “battle axe”. The Coast Guard follows Navy guidance. When performing jointly, all services use the nickel-plated/chrome Army Spear (spade) because that’s what the Army uses and since the Army is the senior service, the other services follow the Army’s lead. Spades should be used on all other flagstaffs. The listed regulations can be downloaded here.