Flagpole 101: What Is the Best Material for a Flagpole?

In America, we have a pretty strict flag code to follow when flying the US flag. For civilians flying the flag on their residential property, the rules aren’t too hard to master. You want to make sure that no flags are flying higher than the American flag, that the American flag is always well-lit, and that you retire an American flag when it becomes tattered.

What do these rules have in common? You should always fly the American flag with pride and take good care of it.

To get started, you’re going to need a flagpole that is up to the challenge of supporting the stars and stripes. The question is, how do you pick the best flagpole?

Read on for our flagpole buying guide, where we’ll look at things like flagpole materials, finishes, and more.

Picking a Flagpole Based on Material

If you’re new to buying a flagpole, you may not realize how many options you actually have. Flagpoles come in a variety of different heights and finishes, but most importantly, they come in a variety of materials. When you’re choosing the right material for your flagpole, you’ll want to think about your local climate and what kinds of weather patterns your flagpole will need to withstand.

Satin Aluminum

Satin aluminum refers to a natural aluminum material that has been treated by sanding abrasives into the exterior. The result is a bright silver color that will fade with sun exposure. This material is rust-resistant and lasts a long time and while it is the most popular flagpole material, we don’t consider it the best option for certain climates.

Anodized Aluminum

Anodized aluminum is not sanded but instead coated with a combination of chemical and electrical treatments. These treatments bond to the metal, creating the color of your choice (within a set range of options). The treatment also makes these flagpoles resistant to rust and corrosion, resistant to fading via sun and wind exposure, and resistant to oxidation.

This is the flagpole material we recommend for almost all climates because it can stand just about any weather pattern. However, it is especially optimal for coastal properties that may receive more rainfall and salt exposure.

The best flag pole kit comes with a telescoping anodized aluminum pole with great color options. If you’re wondering how to install a flagpole, you’re in luck. This kit also comes with easy-to-follow instructions.

Gel-Coated Fiberglass

Gel-coated fiberglass is a lightweight option that provides strong resistance to sun, water, and corrosion. One thing we love about gel-coated fiberglass flagpoles is that they are practically guaranteed to maintain the same bright color for years on end. However, you may have to pay a higher price to get a gel-coated fiberglass flagpole that provides good wind resistance.

Steel Flagpoles

Steel flagpoles are now made from carbon steel that has been shaped into a pipe or tube. Steel flagpoles are not typically used for residential properties because they don’t offer many additional benefits and tend to cost more than aluminum. Most of the time, you’re only going to encounter steel flagpoles that are 80 feet tall or taller. 

Picking a Flagpole Finish

For purchasing purposes, you can think of the finish on a flagpole in terms of color. This part of the selection process is subjective and comes down to your personal preferences.

Most flagpoles can be purchased with a silver, bronze, or black finish. Some gel-coated flagpoles may be available in white. However, white flagpoles are usually reserved for house-mounted flagpoles as opposed to standing flagpoles. 

Other Important Considerations When Buying a Flagpole

There are a few final considerations you’ll want to make when choosing the best flagpole for your yard. Once you’ve decided where to buy a flagpole, you’ll discover that you have a few more options than just material and finish. Let’s take a look at the product details you’ll want to skim before making your choice.


Remember, you don’t want to fly the American flag lower than other flags in your yard. If you already have flagpoles installed for, say, a state flag or another nation’s flag, make sure the flagpole you purchase for an American flag is at least a few inches taller. Most residential flagpoles are no taller than the house they’re flown next to, but this is a personal choice.

Wind Resistance

A good flagpole seller should also provide the wind resistance (aka “wind rating”) for each of their flagpoles. Common wind ratings are 75 mph and 90 mph. 

Flagpoles that are taller than 20 feet need to have a wind resistance of 90 mph. The taller your flagpole, the less protected it is by things like your house and surrounding trees. If you live in an area that experiences frequent high winds, purchase a flagpole that has a wind resistance of 90 mph regardless of height. 


Remember, the American flag must remain lit anytime it is flying. One option is to take your flag down each night around sunset. Another is to install lighting at the base of your flagpole so that you can fly the American flag overnight.

If you choose the second option, consult your flagpole seller about lighting options. They should provide you with lighting that is strong enough for the flagpole height of your choosing.

Get the Best Flagpole for Your Residential Property 

Do you want to start flying the flag in your yard? If so, you’ll need to start with a great flagpole. We hope that our guide helps you select the best material, finish, and more for a flagpole that you can be proud of.

Want to know more about the gadgets and gizmos you can use to better your home? Take a look around for more buying guides and useful information on all sorts of products.

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