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Hanging Flags

Last modified: 1999-09-23 by phil nelson
Keywords: inglefield clips | grommets | rope and toggle |
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There are three means to attach a flag to the rope to hoist it up the pole.

  1. Rope & toggle (with variations on the hardware used)
  2. Grommets
  3. Cloth tabs on the flag to tie to the rope or pole.

From my observation it seems that rope & toggle is the most used worldwide. I have only seen grommets on American-made flags, or for flags used in America. Are these observations correct? Do other countries use grommets as the normal method of attachment?
nathan bliss, 1996-OCT-09

I collect flags made in the country they represent. Rope and toggle or sleeved/tabbed headings are found on the following flags: Australia, Belgium, Canada, PRChina, Costa Rica, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Finland, France, Germany, India, Lithuania, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Sierra Leone, Solomon Is (these last two are probably UK made) South Africa, South Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland (metal clips attached to each end of rope), Turkey, Turkmenistan, USSR, Zimbabwe.

Grommets are found on the following: USA, Israel, Jordan (and I suspect the grommets on the latter two may have been added by the person who owned both of them before me, though I cannot confirm that.) It looks like grommets are definitely a US idea. I'm not sure why. With this system, the halyard is a closed loop and the snaps are tied at the correct interval(s). This means you cannot easily use flags of different sizes without rearranging the clips. With the systems using Inglefield clips or becket and toggle, the halyard is cut at the point where the flag(s) is (are) attached. Any size flag is easy to accommodate. Perhaps we are afraid of letting go of the halyard and having the loose end run up to the truck! That is impossible with a closed loop halyard.

US Government specification flags for the Navy, among others, call for a roped heading with brass snaps at either end.
nick artimovich, 1996-OCT-09

New Zealand flag makers offer a choice of either rope and toggle or ovoid plastic split rings which engage with similar split rings on the halyard. If these split rings are grommets, then we use them (though less commonly than the toggle method).
stuart park, 1996-OCT-10

Only US flags have grommets (usually brass flat rings which are smashed together, one on top of the hoist canvas, the other directly underneath on the otherside of the canvas). Israel and Jordan have also been mentioned. A friend of mine brought me back 3 Chinese flags from various points he visited in China. One flag is about 3x4 ft. It has a canvas heading and brass-looking grommets.

I have long wonder why the US does it differently. It really doesn't look as good, because no matter what color on the flag is next to the hoist, we ALWAYS have this natural canvas heading as the LAST color we see when these flags are drapped on walls, for instance.

Canadian and others make the header as a continuation of the color from the flag by the hoist, if possible, or make it white. But, it is of the same fabric (usually) and does not have two holes at either end with shiny brass rings around them, as we see on US flags even of other countries but made in the US.
steve stringfellow, 1996-OCT-10

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