What size flagpole retainer ring do I need?

"I need a retainer ring.  How do I know what size to buy?"
We get this question by email, phone, in person, or on Facebook at least several times per week.  Thankfully the answer is simple and straightforward, requiring only a tape measure and few minutes!  Today we are going to show you how to determine what size you need for your particular flagpole.

First things first, you'll only need the bottom portion of your pole and a tape measure.
"Why am I measuring the bottom of my pole?  Why not closer to the top where the retainer ring will actually be?"

Excellent question!  It makes sense that you would want the flag to be close to your pole up top, as most flagpoles are much narrower there than the base.  

The problem with that is, the retainer ring also aids in lowering and raising your flag.  Your retainer ring needs to be wide enough to travel down to where you can reach your flag - if you are unsnapping or attaching the clip on your flag's top grommet, that means your retainer ring will be at your feet!

So the smallest that our retainer ring can be is the same length as the circumference of bottom of your pole.  Many of you purchased your flagpole new, and so you know the base, or "butt", diameter of your pole.  This is the width of your pole where it meets the ground.  Many flagpole component retailers require only this knowledge in purchasing retainer rings, and they will send you a retainer ring that they feel will be a good fit for your pole.  These are often overly long, which keeps them from doing the job they were intended for - keeping your flag close to the pole!  If you do know your butt diameter, multiplying this by Pi (3.14159265359) will give you the rough circumference of your pole to determine your retainer ring length, and will be much more accurate determination than trusting someone else to decide for you.

So now that we know where we need to measure, all we need to do is bust out the measuring tape and find the circumference of the base.
This pole is roughly 23 inches around.  The very shortest our retainer ring could be would be 23 inches.  This is a good length, but having a couple more inches may be helpful in being able to attach it easily, as well as allowing for any narrowing of the circumference due to the girth of the balls.  Adding a little more give, I determine that a total length of around 27 inches would be best.

At Flagpole Gear, our retainer rings are sold in 5" increments (though we will make any length to order at no extra charge).  These lengths do not include the connecting carabiner.  For the flagpole above, we made several of our 25" lengths, as their total length is closer to 28".  Here are some of the options we created for this pole once connected:
This owner flies a USA flag and has an identical pole with a smaller Virginia Tech flag.  As the top of this flagpole is not much narrower than it's base, this was a perfect size for this pole.  If it was much narrower at the top, we could've scaled down a few inches.  Once you are sure of the retainer ring being able to fit over the base of your pole, you can adjust the length according to your preferences for your own flagpole.

Come back for our post on how to determine what size counterweight is right for your flag!

Be sure to check out all our customized options for retainer rings in our store!  We can do any color and pattern to match your pole, flag, or team colors!

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