The size of a flag is usually determined by the dimensions of the flagpole. Flags are often proportioned according to their width to height ratio or if they have different proportions, divided into parts of equal area (usually each occupying half of the available space).

A standard United States flag is 3'x5' or a 2:3 proportion. However, most often people require a 3'x6' flag for a 20' pole.

When flown with bunting that has sewn stripes, special attention must be paid to ensure all vertical stripes on the bunting run from head to foot; but no particular care is needed when it is hoisted with rope. If both provided, horizontal and vertical flags should come down at slightly different angles.

International Flag Size

The International Flag Code specifies that any new design for flags in countries where more than one national flag may be hoisted should bear in its upper quarter nearest the staff or flagpole such devices as might indicate the order of seniority or date of establishment as a nation.

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It is also considered that it would be appropriate to fly smaller flags (particularly those marked with symbols) at places where there are likely to be high winds and preferably not to fly them during times of extreme wind conditions. Flags should only be flown outside their owner's home if there is no wind or rain (including snow).

Small Flag

A small flag on a short pole may simply be stitched onto a bunting cloth, but any flag larger than about a square meter needs a pole. Poles come in different sizes, from one meter high to fifteen meters high, and are usually made of wood or metal with a sharp point or spearhead at the top for penetrating or embedding into the ground.

The end opposite this point is called the 'butt' end. This is often decorated with a tassel in countries such as Indonesia where they can be found on staffs supporting national flags in government offices.

Types of Poles

There are two types of poles: fixed and adjustable/telescopic ones that collapse when not needed for flying. The latter category includes the traditional wooden poles that have ornamental parts like finials at their tops which denote their above ground or length including any portion of the pole that can be retracted to adjust the height.

A pole is known as a “stave” if it is made of one piece of wood or metal with no joints, but more than likely they are glued together from long strips called staves. Staves must overlap at least three inches since this prevents moisture penetration at each end where there is no overlapping.

Poles are fitted with their appropriate flags either through eyelets or sleeves formed at the top end for this purpose according to how wide or narrow the boards are. The most popular flagpole in America has traditionally been wooden because they are easy to find, inexpensive, and durable enough for everyday use.

Though often limited in height by their lightness which allows them to be blown over in strong winds. Lightweight aluminum flagpoles are common today and some even attach to roofs or balconies. Metal poles can also be hollow allowing them to slide through metal masts atop the roof using a device called an "ascender".

When raising or lowering flags, no part of the pole must ever overlap the edge of the flag since this will prevent it from falling off when lowered (the rule for nylon flags) or unfurls itself when raised (the rule for polyester flags).

Country Flags

Country-sized flags are measured according to their width on each side. The height usually varies according to its proportionate width though there is no reason why these measurements cannot be inverted. So that wider flags have a smaller height.

In either case, the size of a flag's design is determined by its proportionate width-to-height ratio according to national heraldic traditions though some countries follow no strict rules. Typically, flags are made so that they will fly properly if their width is one-half or one-third of their height.

A rule of thumb used for flags larger than three by five feet (approximately 100 x 150cm) is that one should divide the hoist edge into thirds to find out how wide it must be for the flag to fly well in any weather conditions. These sizes come from many sources and usually apply to nylon or other modern fabrics but exceptions are depending on the type of fabric, construction method, and even country of origin.


Flag sizing is a very common practice in countries around the world and it allows people to differentiate between different aspects related by country when they see them flying outside homes or government buildings at home or abroad; however, each country has different specifications when designing its flags that include sizes.

For the flag to fly well in any weather conditions. These sizes come from many sources and usually apply to nylon or other modern fabrics but exceptions are depending on the type of fabric, construction method, and even country of origin.