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Halyard Replacement

Flag flying is a "JOY" It's a happy thing. It's bright, colorful, light and breezy. It's fun and everyone can do it…from children to grandparents. It's kind of like flying a kite, except you don't have to stand there holding that string until your arm falls off. You can walk away and it's still blowing in the breeze. Cool! But there is regular care and maintenance, and the condition of the halyards is often overlooked.
 
Most people call when the halyard is already broken, adding at least $300.00 to the repair bill. Check your halyards regularly. The average length of time the halyard lasts?...about two years.
 
If they are worn and frayed, it is time to look for replacement halyard, don't wait until it breaks!.
  • To order the right amount of halyard, take your flag pole's height and multiply it by 2. So if you have a 10 foot flag pole, you want 20 feet of halyard. If you have multiple flagpoles, do the same for them and then add it all up and order that much halyard.
  • You may also need replacement flag snaps (swivel clips/quick links)...whatever you call them.
I guess you're wondering how to "re-string" your flagpoles? Prepare yourself for an afternoon of fun and excitement.
  • Order up a nice day! Not too hot and not to windy.
  • Now make sure you have the following gear:
    1. One pair of wire cutters.
    2. A needle nose pliers, scissors or a sharp knife to cut the rope.
    3. A small section of narrow gauge solid wire, about 6 to 8 inches long. (Do not try lamp cord! It's pure logic.)
    4. Masking tape, (perhaps duct tape, but only perhaps. The tape is to smooth out the rough edges of the wire and duct tape can be too bulky.)
  • Remove the flags.
  • Wear steel-toed shoes. This is so that when you goof you can kick the pole without hurting yourself.
  • Use as much logic as possible. This is a step-by-step process.
  • Gather up the existing halyard and hold a loop of it in your hand.
  • Take a small piece of masking tape about 3/4 inch wide by two inches and wrap the tape around the single piece of rope.
  • Now the second hardest part. Cut the rope! Cut in the middle of the masking tape. Do not, I repeat. DO NOT let go of the two ends of the rope. Pure logic! See? The reason for the tape is to prevent fraying of the halyard end.
  • The hardest part! You should have two ends now and both should have a small amount of masking tape on them. Right? Are you with me here?
  • The side of the rope with the hardware on it, (see the “swivel clips” link above). should be on your right. Right? You may even want to drop this end on the ground. But do not let go of the other end of the rope. Don't let it fall or blow out of your hand or let anyone grab it from you. This is the end that will cause you to kick the flag pole if you let it go.
  • Tie or tape the end you are not supposed to drop to something. Ah! How about the flag pole? Good idea! Just make sure it doesn't go away. 
  • Take the end of new rope and stick the end of the wire straight through the side of the rope about two inches from the end. By the way, the end of the new rope should also have a small amount of masking tape on it, or the end should be burned, "melted" slightly.
  • Take the needle nose pliers and crimp the end of the wire that is protruding from the other side of the halyard back onto itself and put the end inside the body of the rope. This uses about three or four inches of rope and you now need to grab the end of the old rope and do the same thing with it. Only you do this with the other end of the wire. It is best to twist or wrap the wire around both pieces of rope before you start to push the wire end into the side of the old rope. Okay, okay, I know what your thinking. Is this 6 or 8 inches? Well, the rope ends are supposed to be put end-to-end, touching. Got it? You should have just enough to do the job.
  • Bend the wire slightly to form an arch…slight arch. This makes it easier to go into the sheave (pulley) in the truck assembly. When this looks about right, wrap tape around the entire "thing" you've just made. Now you are ready for the most exciting element and potentially budget-busting time of the day. See I told you flag flying was fun. The idea here is to connect the two pieces of rope without making the connection any bigger in diameter, so that it can fit through the truck assembly.
  • Okay, ready? Pull down on the old rope and thread the new halyard through the pulley and all the way back down to the bottom of the flagpole. You will have to tie a square knot in the new rope and secure the ends to the rope. We use nylon wire ties and sharpen the end to stick them through the rope like the wire, but you can use more wire if you like. Tape the ends. Then mount the flagsnaps, one above the knot and one below the knot and mount your flags. You’re done, finished…till the next flagpole, or two more years.

If you have any doubts, questions, concerns or just plain need help, feel free to call me, 314-872-7900