DIY Tailgate Flagpole

By Erin Watson-Price

The phrase "tailgate party" comes from the open tailgate of a vehicle used as an impromptu seating, a makeshift buffet, or just a place to put the cooler. Usually, this party occurs among a sea of parked cars outside a sporting arena. You can put out a flag to help your friends find you and let other fans know where the party is. Rising above the tallest SUV, your flag declares your team pride, school spirit, and patriotism. You can even save a few bucks to help fill the cooler by building your own flagpole.


There are two choices for pole material: PVC and metal. PVC is lighter, can be modified with ordinary hand saws and drills and comes in a variety of lengths and shapes. Metal is sturdier, but without special cutting and drilling tools you cannot easily alter your design. You will need couplings to connect your pieces and I-bolts and carabiners to attach the flag.

Putting Your Flagpole Together

A pole 15 to 20 feet tall is appropriate for displaying your flag. Cut your poles into five-foot lengths for easy transportation and storage. Assemble the pieces using couplings. Drill two holes at the top of the pole using the eyes on your flag to determine the distance between them. Install I-bolts in the holes and use carabiners to secure the flag to the bolts. Stake the pole into the ground or lash it to your truck or tent. If you are not on soft ground and don’t want to scratch up your paint, consider filling a five-gallon bucket with gravel and placing your pole in it. Alternatively, build an I-shaped base using another five-foot length of pole, two two-foot lengths of pole and three T-joints. For stability you can screw this base to a piece of wood that is long enough to have one wheel parked on top of it.

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