Rope & Flag Protection

Internal Systems

There are a few different ways you can secure your flag from theft. Some you have to choose when you buy the pole and others you can add or convert a pole to accommodate what you need. When you buy a pole you will have the opportunity to buy an internal or external halyard type. The internal type has the rope or cable run through the inside of the pole so that when the flag is raised you have to have a key to the little access door or you cannot get to the rope or cable. It’s very sad to hear but some thieves have been known to cut a rope to steal a flag. The internal flagpole helps to thwart that possibility. There are different types of internal poles as well. They all have their positives and negatives.

  • Internal Crank- This is a pole that has a winch with an access door to do repairs. For the most part you raise and lower the flag using a hand crank that you stick into the side of the pole and turn to raise and lower the flag.
  • Internal M-winch- This one is similar to the internal crank, but it requires a key to open a little keyhole door to stick the crank in. Then you can proceed to raise and lower the flag. The big difference is the requirement of a key to be able to use the crank. Both of these methods use a bare cable that runs inside the flagpole.

  • Internal Rope with Jam Cleat- This one is similar to the internal crank in that it has an access door, but when you open the door there is a jam cleat that is holding the rope inside. The jam cleat catches the rope in a one-way manner so that when you pull and raise the flag it locks in place. To lower the flag you have to release the cleat so that the flag can be lowered. All of this happens inside the pole. Since this mechanism uses rope it is more likely to tear but even cable will eventually tear too. If you are not careful and let go of the rope when the cleat is not engaged the flag can come down and hit you hard. All flags that have internal parts have 3-7 lbs weights on then to help lower them down.

External Systems

The other type of pole is an external pole which is what most of us know. It has a rope that does a big loop from a pulley at the top and we can raise and lower the flag by feeding the rope up or down as desired. This leaves the rope completely exposed and if someone wants to they can come up and cut the rope with some scissors or a knife with ease. These are the most common types of flagpole because they are generally the easiest to maintain and have the least amount of problems and there are a number of solutions to protect your rope from being cut.

  • Wire core rope and lock- The simplest but least effective method is to get a rope that has a wire core inside. You can read about that in the rope section of our website. With this you can tie the rope in a specific way so that you can put a padlock on it while it’s tied up so that nobody can just walk up to the pole, lower the flag and take it.  With the wire core, it’s going to take more than just a knife or scissors to cut the rope.
  • Raise the Cleat- This method is very simple: You mount the cleat high enough above the ground so that it takes a ladder to get to the rope, making it a little harder to get to the rope. That means that you will need to bring out a ladder every time to raise and lower the flag. If you leave the flag up 24/7 this might not be an issue.
  • Lock Box and Channel- This is by far the best solution for an external pole. There is a box at the cleat with a locking mechanism to prevent access to the rope. This alone works but you can still get to the rope and cut it if you bring the right tools. If you add a rope channel that extends up then the rope is no longer accessible for the length of the channel.

All of these methods for the external poles can be combined or used on their own. You could raise the cleat and put a lock box on it with wire core rope and a ten-foot channel. That would make it next to impossible to reach but that is a little much. If you have a nice 20 foot flag that is valued at over $1500 and theft is a huge problem then that might be a good option. That is for you to decide and place a value on. Whatever you decide, please feel free to ask questions. Even if you found us and we are not in your service area or you want to try to install a flagpole yourself, we are here to help.

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