You’ve seen those beaded necklaces on flagpoles at the grocery store, in your neighbor’s yard, or at school – but what are they? And what do they do?
Flagpole retainer rings are made of stainless steel aircraft cable, strung with a series of 1” nylon beads, 1” nylon beads with plastic spacers, or a combination of 1” and 2” nylon beads. Each end is looped around a stainless steel thimble and secured with aluminum or copper crimps. A spring hook or quick link is included to secure the loops together.
Retainer rings are a necessary component to internal halyard systems. Without them, the flag would not be attached to the pole at all, and would be flapping in the wind. In the last few years, owners of external systems have been utilizing retainer rings as well, as they serve several purposes, and often address multiple issues at once.
- Keeping the flag close to the pole. This is the chief reason people with external systems chose to purchase retainer rings, as it helps to create a cleaner look when your flag is flying. It can be a huge advantage if you struggle with maintaining solid rope tension. This makes a significant difference in how your flag looks, especially in high wind areas, like this flag below.
- Reducing tension on the flag grommets. Your flag is an investment. You spent time figuring out what size you wanted, comparing them to get the best quality for your buck, and ensuring it was made here in the USA to support local communities. A retainer ring, by reinforcing the flag’s position close to the pole, reduces strain on the flag grommets, which can help lengthen your flag's life. In windier areas, and on flags that fly day after day no matter the weather, the strain on your grommets can really add up. On larger commercial sized flags or flags that are in very windy areas, retainer rings are purchased for each of the grommets to provide extra individual support for the grommets, as the weight of the flag itself is also a strain.
- Aiding in lowering and raising the flag. As a retainer ring keeps your flag at an even distance from your pole, you will have to less resistance lowering and raising your flag.
You may also notice that when you see retainer rings, you also see matching cylindrical pieces dangling from it. These are counterweights. They are 2” diameter steel with eyebolts attached to one end or both, and coated in plastisol. They keep the flag taught by sharing stress with the line. If your flag is billowing in the middle even after adding a retainer ring, a counterweight could be of great help!
Find out how to find the correct size of retainer ring for your flagpole here!
Check out all of our retainer rings and counterweights, all made in the USA to order.