Flagstaff Refurbishing

DrillMasterAsk DrillMaster, Color Guard, Color Guard/Color Team, Equipment Maintenance, Honor Guard 2 Comments

Flagstaffs can become weathered and lose their original look like the one pictured. That is easily remedied! Well, not easy-easy, but it’s not really all that difficult. Here are the steps:

  1. Remove the ferrules and middle screw joints.
  2. Sand the staffs down completely to the wood.
  3. Stain the the staffs.
  4. Coat the staffs with at least five coats of urethane.

Use 80-grit sandpaper to remove the finish, then step it down to 120, 180, 220, 240 for a smooth finish. You may want to use a sheet of printer paper between coats of polyurethane to give it a smooth and glossy finish. Three coats of polyurethane will work great for heavy use protection. 

The stain to use is Minwax Wood Finish Penatrating Stain, Natural 209.






The photo at the top of the page was the start and this is the final product!

I want to give a huge THANK YOU to Matthew Benoit-LaFleur and his Civil Air Patrol Unit in Idaho for providing these instructions that can help many, many others!



Here is the suggested topcoat. Minwax Indoor/Outdoor Helmsman Spar Urethane.

Comments 2

  1. Is there a significance to the color of the flagstaff? I have seen some that are darker more like a walnut color and the lighter natural oak. Do they have different flagstaff colors for different reasons?

    1. Post

      Mr. Flannery,

      From what I can find, the light ash wood guidon staff has been the standard since WWII. The Old Guard (the Army’s honor guard in Washington DC) uses darker stained staffs and Marine Barracks Washington (The Marine Corps’ honor guard in DC) actually uses an historic black, solid steel staff.


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