Flags are designed for flying them or so you would believe but there are times when it is impossible. I frequently fly the flag at home and in fact I only take it down if the wind is too strong. That means unlocking the cover which hides the rope so that I can do it. When the flag has been lowered it is an easy thing to unhook it from the guide rope. The rope is tied into a loop through which the toggle that is attached to the flag passes through. The toggle on the flag is itself fixed to a rope which is stitched into the flag to emerge at the bottom of the flag. The loose end of that rope is then attached to a weight to hold the flag taut when hoisted up the pole. All might sound too involved but in practice it is very simple. So the routine is to lower the flag and detach it from both the rope at the top and the weight at the bottom. What I do then is attach the weight to the rope and hoist it out of reach up the pole and then push the excess rope at the bottom back inside the pole before replacing the cover. Today was a day for doing just that. It is Sunday 10 th March which happens to be my youngest son’s birthday, he is now 34. The wind is high and the forecast tells me it will stay windy for a few days but not just windy , very windy, windy enough to have to lower the flag, which is what I have just done. As per usual whenever I do this I find there is some maintenance to carry out but is is most often the rope which needs attention. This time it was showing signs of wear near to where it is attached to the top of the flag. I suspect it has something to do with the finial, which is where the rope emerges at the top of the pole. There is a wheel up there in which the rope sits and perhaps it rubs on it thus wearing it out. It shouldn’t really happen but I cannot gain access easily being as it is at the top of the pole. It requires lowering to the ground which isn’t practical or erecting scaffolding to reach it. I did that last year when installing a new rope as the old one had sheared off and couldn’t be lowered.
I am thinking I need a sturdier rope and I will check that out later. The existing rope is still serviceable in the meantime but needs keeping a watchful eye on. A new rope can be pulled through using the old rope if it is attached properly. All this just to fly the flag. Well aren’t flags meant for flying?