Sunday, December 18, 2011

Flags? Yes, everyone needs a Flag.

When I lived in Texas I had an elderly neighbor with a 5th Wheel.  Every morning he would rise early (well before sunrise) and each and every morning (weather permitting) he would raise a US and Texas flag.  In our little camp community we knew by those flags if he was home, off traveling without the 5W, or was under the weather.  It was like an alert system.  It also became a good way for us to tell visitors they were in the right place if they were greeted with the sight of those flags.

He moved away for several months during a trip and that got me to thinking that those flags, in addition to being the patriotic thing to do, really came in handy.  So I decided to mount two on the HH and take over those duties until he returned.

I obtained the mounting hardware from one of the home supply stores and the flags from a flag store in San Antonio.  The only oddity I came up with was the subject of poles.  I simply could not find a wooden pole or standard pole that worked with my application.  The solution suggested by another neighbor was to use an extendable pole used for painting.  Wow, that works.  I bought two (2) 14' extendable poles with a diameter that matched the mounting hardware.

The mounting is approximately 6 inches behind the passenger and drivers side windows, mounted with 2 sided 3M tape, and than secured with SS 3/4 inch screws, and sealed with a bead of silicone.
To secure the top of the flag pole, and provide some flexibility during wind, I made two "U" shaped brackets and mounted them in line with the top of the window frame.  I used the same mounting procedure as the bottom mount to hold them in place.  The bungee cord allows some "flex" for the poles to move during those pesky wind gushes.

You can see by the marks on the pole that the wind does make these move around alot.  But, the bungee cord seems to be the right solution.

To address the issue of flying the flag after sundown (yes, I'm aware of the limits of when and why this could be done - yet, I've often gotten home after sundown so this was an interim solution), I mounted those solar lights usually used for garden or driveway applications.  I mounted them by removing the end cap on the poles, removing the stake from the light, and using a small compression clamp to hold it in place.

Now, I have the opportunity to fly the flags wherever I go.  They not only function well, but they make for a handy landmark when you have someone trying to find you in a new park.

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