Tuesday, July 3, 2007


A flagpole or flagstaff can be a simple support made of wood or metal. If it is taller than can be easily reached to raise the flag, a cord is used, looping around a pulley at the top of the pole with the ends tied at the bottom. The flag is fixed to one lower end of the cord, and is then raised by pulling on the other end. The cord is then tightened and tied to the pole at the bottom. The pole is usually topped by a flat plate called a "truck" (originally meant to keep a wooden pole from splitting) or by a ball or a finial in a more complex shape.

Very high flagpoles may require more complex support structures than a simple pole, such as guy wires, or need be built as a mast. The highest flagpole in the world, at 160 metres (525 feet), is that at Gijeong-dong in North Korea, the flag weighing about 270 kilograms (600 pounds) when dry. The world's biggest regularly hoisted flag, however, is the Brazilian national flag flown in the Square of the Three Powers in Brasilia, the capital of Brazil. This flag weighs about 600 kilograms (1300 pounds) when dry and measures 70×100 metres (230x330 feet). It can be seen from all parts of Brasilia and its flagpole is the tallest structure in the city.

The tallest free-standing flagpole in the world is the Aqaba Flagpole in Aqaba, Jordan, with a total height of 132 meters (430 feet). The Raghadan Flagpole, also in Jordan, is the second tallest free-standing flagpole in the world. It reaches a height of 126 meters (410 feet) and hoists a flag that measures 60×40 meters (200x130 feet); it is illuminated at night and can be seen from 25 km (16 miles) away.

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