“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” wrote William Shakespeare as he penned Romeo and Juliet with his quill – a simple feather. This poignant muse by Juliet is still used today when articulating that what something is called matters little. But it can be rather confusing when a spade isn’t called a spade and in the world of flags and flagpoles this is most pronounced when discussing feather flags.
To the right are some of the “feather flag” names I’ve heard over the years, topped up with a few I’ve found online:-
But generally speaking they are widely known as feather flags and they are a very popular and effective way to displaying a message or brand. But with so much choice how can you be sure you choose what is right for you? Well simply follow this 6 step guide and you can’t go wrong.
1.Which Shape is right for me?
There are essentially 3 types of shape to choose from and then some minor variants on those themes.
5 years ago the most popular type of event flag was the rectangle shaped print as seen below. This is the only pole kit which has a cross arm. These flags are still quite popular at trade shows, particularly outdoors but have been usurped as the most desirable by variations of the “blade”.
The name “feather flag” is most apt for this range of flags and there are 3 main shapes.
1.Straight (a straight cut at the bottom and by far our most popular flag
2.Convex (the cut at the bottom bends out)
3.Concave (the cut at the bottom bends in – this style is not popular at all, possibly as some of the print area is lost but is not cheaper as the same amount of material is required to run through the printer)
The other popular choice is the dewdrop flag which is also commonly known as the teardrop flag but is one in the same thing. This style of flag is ideal if your logo is round and/or if you have very limited space as there isn’t as much material taking up room – perhaps outside a small cafe or on a tight exhibition stand. This shape looks great on our event gazebo flag bracket which gives extra height and movement in a crowded event space.
Size really does matter and it can be tempting to go “extra large” but you really need to consider this carefully as even a large flag is a substantial size as you can see below. Our most popular sizes are small and medium and not just because they’re less expensive but because for most applications, including most large events, they are big enough.
3.Which flag base do I need?
We offer a wide variety of quality bases and the main consideration here is where your feather flag will be situated. So here is a helpful table to aid you in making the right decision – these are our recommendations. Please also note that all of our bases are interchangeable with all of our feather flag pole kits.
Please note that we do also offer a cross base but the circular base is much better suited for indoor use as it is less of a trip hazard and more aesthetically pleasing. You can also use our cross base with our stackable concrete base for additional stability in particularly gusty areas. Here is a link to an easy to use guide which might also help here.
4.Single or double sided design?
This subject can be confusing for those not familiar with flags but the majority of feather flags are printed single sided with “show through” meaning you can see a mirror image of the print on the back of the flag.
Our feather flags all spin 360 degrees on a spigot mounted to the base which is why some people refer to them as “windchasers”. This of course can mean that depending on outdoor conditions your feather flag could be facing the wrong way for a period. But – depending on the complexity of your design the majority of your audience will still see the desired message as they will flip it in their brain. In fact, it is argued that when something is viewed “backwards” the viewer will spend slightly longer looking at it to interpret the message. Here is an example of one scientific study into this phenomenon.
We actually recommend single sided flags for the majority of applications but if you really want a double sided flag we will print it with a “whiteout” liner in the middle to help prevent the design showing through. You also must be mindful that due to the extra weight of fabric there will be additional stress on the poles in stronger winds. So if in doubt – go for single sided.
5.What type of sleeve do I need?
Feather flags are commonly seen with elasticated sleeves like the one below. These sleeves are usually black, white or chosen from a small range of stock colours. As a flag geek these sleeves offend my eye as they are not the purists way of making a flag – but the cheap and lazy way. Not only does this approach compromise your messaging and brand but you also lose up to 7% of your print area.
At Harrisons we don’t take this approach and hand finish our feather flags in the UK with a fully printed sleeve.
Another important note on sleeves is that all of our sleeves are reinforced at the end to stop the pole poking out of the end. Many manufacturers don’t bother with this approach but we won’t put our name to anything less than a reinforced end.
6.Does it matter what kind of material my poles are made from?
In short – yes.
Our poles are a combination of heavy duty carbon fibre and glass fibre which means that they are very durable but also offer the flex required to provide movement and bend in the wind. Some poles on the market do not offer this level of quality and performance, including some very low grade metal based poles which we strongly advise against.
Pole to pole
We are flagpole experts and we can confidently state that our feather flag pole kits are the highest quality in the UK. All of our kits are heavy duty glassfibre poles which means you can be assured that our feather flag poles will perform exceptionally well in higher winds leaving you with more time to do what you do rather than worrying about your feather flag kit snapping or blowing away.
So there you have it – these 6 simple steps will ensure that you opt for the right feather flags for you. If you’re still in any doubt then please contact us and we’d be happy to talk through your requirement and offer our advice.