Home Depot, Lowes, and most hardware stores don’t carry rope that is adequate for a flag pole. Rope replacement is something that is simple yet you still cannot just grab any rope to use on a flagpole. There are a few different types out there to choose from. The best type of rope for your pole depends on the conditions of where the pole is and how often it gets raised and lowered. Nylon or better yet polyester are the best for flagpoles. Nylon rope is good and has good UV resistance but it does stretch a lot and for a really long pole it makes it hard to keep the rope tight against the pole during high winds. If you use nylon rope on a short flagpole you will be ok since there is not so much rope length that the stretch is a huge factor. Polyester halyard replacement is the best option for basically all flagpoles. It has excellent UV properties and low stretch and is very resilient to tears. The worst type is Polypropylene rope. Polypropylene can be recognized because it feels a little like plastic. It floats in water and is very inexpensive but it does horrible in sunlight. No professional in the flagpole industry will sell this type of rope since it will degrade in about a year and just fall apart. It has a crunchy feel to it and should never be used on a flagpole. There are some variations to really get the best value for your rope. Some may cost a little bit more than others but when you are talking about a rope that is going to last you 5 or more years then an extra $20-40 for the whole length is not that much. The most basic and very good rope is a single braid polyester rope. Single braid polyester can be used on most short flagpoles that don’t get a lot of high wind. If you want to upgrade from that there is a double braided polyester rope. Double braided polyester is
Another option is polyester halyard with a wire cable in the middle, also known as wire-core rope. As the name suggests, there is a wire center in the rope. While the double braid rope has essentially two ropes in one, the wire-core rope has a cable inside the middle. Now, this may seem like the ultimate rope to have but there are some drawbacks to it. The downside to wire core rope is that it tends to be stiffer. The stiffness of the rope is not too bad at the beginning. You almost cannot tell too much but over time it will get stiffer and stiffer, especially if you live by the ocean. The salt air tends to make the wire part of the rope corrode a little faster and causes the wire to kink up more. The main advantage of wire-core rope is that before you replace it, you will almost never lose your flag from the rope breaking. All rope will eventually wear down over the years. Wind and how often you take the flag up and down will make a difference, but with a wire-core rope, you will see the wire before you lose all the rope off the flagpole. If you fly a large flag in very windy areas you could lose the rope due to the rope wearing down quickly. Also if the rope does come down then you have the problem of replacing the rope by having to pay someone to climb the flagpole or get a lift and that is more expensive than someone just coming to the site and restringing a new rope using the old one.
In connection with the rope are the flag snaps or clips. These usually get replaced when the rope does if they are worn. It is very obvious when they are worn and should be replaced when they look bad or operation of them is difficult. Usually, the snaps that come with a pole are cheap and will do the job for the time being. Some smaller poles will actually come with plastic snaps, which will work, but if there are any types of high winds where the flagpole is located then you do not want to use plastic snaps. Cheap home depot snaps will work but we always recommend stainless steel snaps. For a little extra money, you get 2-3 times more use out of them. We only install stainless steel snaps because we don’t want our customers to call back complaining about the snaps wearing down too soon, but if we do change out your rope and you want to buy your own snaps that’s ok with us. Additionally, if you have a bronze color flagpole and would like your rope to blend in a little and not be an eyesore, you can get a bronze color rope that does not stand out like a white rope would on a bronze color pole. The bronze rope we recommend comes in all the same sizes and has the option of a wire-core as well. If you have a darker color flagpole a bronze color rope would help to blend in as well.