This issue has been on my mind for a little while. I have this outlined in my book, Exhibition Drill For The Military Drill Team, Vol II, and I really need to go over it here.
There is only one way to properly mount a flag on a color team flagstaff. Because I say so? No, because I’ve learned through many years how a flag acts and how it is supposed to look whether carried or posted.
Glendale has been offering flags with the hook-and-pile fasteners now for a few years and thank goodness! The leather tabs wore out easily. Here is an excerpt from paradestore.com regarding one of their American flags (emphasis mine):
“They are finished with flannel-lined pole hems* and Velcro tabs and, if requested, golden yellow rayon fringe. These are very durable flags for parade use.”
*By the way, this flannel lining is going to give way eventually, you will have to sew the hook-and-pile fastener (Velcro) through the flag material to make it stay.
There are two parts to the hook-and-pile fastener, one is already partly sewn to the flag at the top and bottom of the flagstaff (pole) hem and one is sticking to it and had a glue-like backing to make it adhere to the staff. Here is how to attach that sticky-backed piece as pictured above. The arrow in the picture points to the small hole in the hook-and-pile fastener tab where you can drill a hole and then insert a small, thin screw (about a half-inch long). The screw should stick out no more than a quarter inch. When you attach the flag, ensure the hook-and-pile fastener(s) that is sewn into the flag goes over the screw. If you are going to mount that flag at the top and bottom, which is good thinking, you need to perfectly align the tabs and ensure that the tabs and screws do not pull/stress the flag material.
How to mount a flag on a staff. The eagle finial is NOT AUTHORIZED for any military color guard, you must use the spade (Navy and CG may use the battle axe at local expense). These are flags from my church that needed some maintenance. It is for permanent display only, hence the eagle and cross. Only the light ash staff is authorized for a color guard. The gold cord and tassels are NOT AUTHORIZED for use by any military color guard.
- With the finial flat, mount the spikey velcro strip at the top. Drill a small starter hole.
- If your finial has a face, you must mount the strip at the back of the staff/finial.
- If your flag has a usable leather tab, use the screw and then wind strapping tape around the tab.
- Insert a small screw. I used screws about a half-inch long.
- Mount the flag onto the staff and place the fuzzy velcro strip around the screw.
Attaching the Cord and Tassels
A gold cord and tassels is not authorized for any military color guard. Please read this article for more information, All About the Military Color Guard.
- Loop the cord through the eye (if there is one, if not there is a special knot to use).
- bring the tassels up, under, and through the loop. Tighten the loop.
- The tassels should hang evenly.
The flagstaff ornament in this picture is the spade or Army Spear. It is the standard authorized ornament for all military services with the Navy authorized to use the battle axe (Parade Store photo):
What about flags that still have a leather tab?
Thin strapping tape is a must for you! Eventually, you may want to purchase hook-and-pile fasteners and sew them into your flag(s) at the top and bottom of the flagstaff hem.
So, what does mounting a flag like described above do?
It allows you to carry and post the flag the way it was intended. You see, the leather or hook-and-pile fastener tabs are sewn into the flagstaff hem directly across from the sew line which means that when the screws and tabs are mounted squarely so that the flag will hang as it is supposed to do with the point where the fringe meets centered on the flat spade. Like the American flag in this picture below (USAF photo):
Notice that all three flags in this picture above are not the same. That’s a no-no. The other two flags are the German and USAF.
When carried, the point where the fringe meets faces behind the color bearer this facilitates properly posting the flag and “diamonding” it so the fringe is off to the right.