Sierra Nevada AirstreamsOwners Guide

Enjoyment of the whispering winds, the zephyrs, the airstreams of the Sierra Nevada and Great Basin areas of the United States in a recreational vehicle.

Flags at WBCCI events

1998 WBCCI International Rally in Boise, ID

Virginia and Dale Leipper

2009 SNU at the Lyon County Fly-In

Check the photo gallery of flags and flag poles

Flag flying has always been a big WBCCI tradition and there is a good part of the WBCCI Blue Book on how to properly fly flags. The policies follow international flag etiquette and establish standards for the association identity. You should not fly a flag at a WBCCI event that has not been approved by the organization. The presentation of flags identifies the group and the individual and shows respect for the nation and the association and the individual represented. There are some that consider events with flags occasion for political or personal protest that they can show by what flags they present or how they present them. Since WBCCI is a caravan club, such activity is probably not appropriate at their events.

The WBCCI policies identify several types of 'official flags' to present at events. That list includes unit officer flags. These are usually white or blue with a WBCCI logo in the center and the office title at the end of the flag. You can see examples in the pictures above as the right most flag with the WBCCI logo in the center. Pennants are listed as OK for the intra clubs. Unit flags need 'approval' to be flown or displayed at WBCCI official events. Maximum size allowed for Unit flags is 3x5 and for pennants 2x3. A pennant is usually a triangular flag rather than rectangular.

One idea that may help to understand flags at WBCCI events is that they are not flown but rather presented. Members have a pole holder mounted to their front jack that provides a mounting point for three or five flag poles. The poles are three or four meters (10 to 12 feet) long. There are very detailed guidelines for the proper way to present flags in a group and which one should go where. When all flags are at about the same height their order of precedence is left to right. If one is presented higher than the others it should be at the center position and fly the US flag. Note that the typical RV flag pole holder presents the poles like spokes on a wheel so the center one will usually be higher than those on either side.

The order of precedence for flags generally is national flags (US first, then others in alphabetical order in English), state (host state first, then others in the order of admission) and territories, Military (in order of establishment: Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard), then other. These, of course, are US rules. Those in other countries should research the flag protocol and etiquette to apply there.

As the event flags are presented and not really flown there should only be one flag per pole. If desired to display the US flag at half staff, all other flags in the display should be lowered as well except, perhaps, those of other countries.

Some go to the local home improvement store and pick up a broom extension handle to use as a flag pole. Others think about flying flags and figure that higher is better. The fact is that most of the flag poles you can find on the internet or in stores are either too short, as for wall mounting home display, or too long, as for vertical flag flying well above anything in the vicinity. Your flag poles should be flag poles! They should have a proper finial at the top and solid flag attachments that will keep the flag flying properly. Ten to twelve feet has proven a good length for a 3x5 flag presented on the front of an RV. Watch out for segmented poles as they often use twist lock or friction to keep the pole extended and wind vibration may loosen that and collapse your pole.

Flag Pole Stands

Flag pole stands for RV's can be rather hard to find as every RV and every RV'er seems to need something different That is why all three of the flag holders at the WPRR Museum rally were custom fabricated.

Poles and holders is one of the most commonly cited sources for RV flag poles and holders. Vista seems to have similar products.

Part of the problem is that different RV's need different methods and many like to display more than one flag.

Travel trailers often clamp a holder onto the tongue jack. The Wally Byam Caravan Club (Airstream) club members often like to fly 3 or 5 flags. In their membership magazine, the Blue Beret, classifieds I see 1"x12' aluminum poles for $35 ea and a 3 pole holder for $38 from Another example can be seen at

I have also seen a plan on for constructing a stand alone flag holder out of PVC pipe that displays the flag at an angle and rotates with the wind.

Jerry and I ended up with Harbor Freight flag pole kits. These included a base for mounting the poles that make constructing a holder a simple matter of creating something to clamp them to. I just used angle iron for the footer and header and a bunch of clamps. Jerry made a stand that was held in place with a trailer ball for a bases mount. Jerry didn't consider fan out of the poles so he'll probably be doing another version before too long.

The motor home had a bracket that bolted to the bumper. The poles in that one were broom handle extensions you can find at home improvement stores (cheap and available are good attributes!)

If you look at the poles and holders website, you'll see the key ingredient is a base section for the flag pole. This is a piece of tubing that the base of the pole will slide into that is about a foot to a foot and a half long. They have one welded to a plate that is intended to sit under a vehicle tire to keep in in place. Another has tabs welded to it so it will clamp to a ladder upright. Another is extended with a clamp to fit around a trailer frame member. What these lack is consideration for displaying multiple flag poles in an orderly fashion.

Perhaps the dearth of options for holders is because it is so much a custom thing. The common attachment points for a single flag are pretty well covered but after that it is a cottage industry or an opportunity for individual creativity. My guess is that the price to produce is often quite a bit higher than most are willing to pay unless they really have a reason.

Other links regarding flags

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