Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Well Hung: DIY Supporter's Flagpole

Let your freak flag fly!

By: Brandon Cockrum

Got a beautiful new flag you want to take to the next match but not sure how to make it street legal? It's really quite simple and not too expensive. Below is a quick guide to making a flagpole that you can take to the stadium and also proudly display at home when it's not match day. 

Assuming you already have a flag, you'll need to gather just a few other items.

Just a few simple tools needed to make a nice flagpole.

Necessary Items
  • PVC Pipe: Indy Eleven allow spectators to bring PVC flagpoles up to 6' long and 1" diameter into the stadium. However, rules vary at different stadiums, e.g. MLS venues only allow PVC poles that are up to 3'6" long and .50" diameter. I like precut 5' long by .50" diameter pipe because then don't need to be cut down, they are more than sturdy enough to fly a 3'x5' flag, and that diameter easily fits into a common flagpole holder. In addition to the availability of different diameter sizes (0.50", 0.75" or 1"), you can also buy 10' PVC pipe (or larger) sections to cut down if you want a 6' pole or more than one pole.
  • Zip-Ties: Two nylon cables or zip-ties, or one for each grommet in the flag. (Tip: Get extra ties just in case you make a mistake when attaching the flag to the pole and need to cut one off to reposition.)
  • Drill & Drill Bit: The bit needs to make holes large enough for the zip-ties to slip through.
  • Utility Knife (or Scissors or Side Cutters): To cut the extra length of zip-tie after it's tightened. (If you're accident prone it's probably best that you go with scissors or side cutters instead of the knife.)
You an buy 5' pieces of PVC pipe for less than $1.50 at most home improvement stores.

Optional Items
  • PVC Pipe Cap: Not vital but they only cost about $0.30 and I think they make the flag pole look nicer, important if you want to hang the flag at home.
  • Sandpaper: Used to smooth out the rough edges on the cut zip ties and the bottom/top of the PVC pipe. You don't want to cut your flag, your hands, or worse, someone else's hands with a sharp edge.
After acquiring each of the necessary items for the project we can start to build the flagpole. 

First, if you bought one, put the pipe cap put on the pole so that you don't mount the flag too high to use the cap (and waste your $0.30 investment). A dab of glue helps it stay but is not necessary.

Second, hold the flag's grommets against the pole in the spots where it will attach. While holding the flag tight to the pole, make a mark on the pole at each of the grommet holes to indicate where you need drill holes.

Third, whip out your drill and make holes through both sides of the pole at your marks. It can be difficult to drill 100% accurately since the pole is round and smooth, but, no worries, just make sure you're close. (Also, make sure your hand is not directly underneath the holes you're drilling.)

Perfection while drilling is not vital, just be close.

Fourth, ensure that that the zip-ties fit in the holes (drill the hole out wider if they don't) and feed them through the holes and then the flag grommets. Make sure your flag is right side up before securing the zip-ties. Pull the ties tight after they're all installed. (If you're picky, you might end up going through a few ties to get everything looking nice and orderly.)

Use the zip-ties to attach the flag to the pole.

Fifth, with a sandpaper or file, smooth the rough edge of the zip-ties and bottom of the pole (and, if you don't have a cap, the top as well).

A bit of sandpaper can help avoid cuts or tears from sharp edges.

Finally, take your well-hung flag with you to the next match to show off your DIY skills and support your club. Swing the flag in a figure 8 pattern, not side-to-side. Hold the pole at a 45 degree angle, not over your head. Be aware of how big your flag is and others around you, try not to hit people with the flag (or the pole). Between matches, place the flag in a holder and fly it over your homestead. 

Boom! Perfect for showing your pride at home, tailgating or at the stadium.

If you enjoy tifo or supporter culture you definitely need to check this event out...

Indy Forever, A Visual History

Come see what goes into making Saturdays at Carroll Stadium possible
First Friday at Indy Fringe's Indy Eleven Theater
April 7, 2017, 4-8 pm

On Saturdays during the warmer months of the year, Indy Eleven supporters can be found on the west end of the stadium creating a unique match atmosphere. Behind this show of support and love for their team, there is a whole lot more than three hours on Saturdays.

Over the last three years, photographers who belong to the Eleven supporters group, Slaughterhouse-19 have been chronicling the culture that surrounds the group. The triumphs, the sorrow, the community, and the countless hours of work.

Join Slaughterhouse-19 for First Friday at the Indy Eleven Theater (719 East Saint Clair Street, Indianapolis) 
attached to IndyFringe. Doors open at 4 pm and admission is free.