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Flags: not as simple as they may appear

The summer of 2012 with the Jubilee Celebrations, the Olympic Torch relay and the Olympic and Paralympic Games meant that flags were flying high across the country. However selecting and flying a flag is not as simple and straightforward as you might think, as Cathel Maclean from Icon:SLS explains.

IconSLS Bridge dress for Pageant

As with any investment there are a number of factors to be taken into consideration when choosing to fly a flag or to incorporate flags as part of a city dressing programme or event overlay scheme.

Questions to ask include:

• How long will the flags be in place?

• Will they be flown internally or externally? (Exposure to the changeable UK climate can have a big effect on the life expectancy of some of the flags and banners. Sunlight can fade some materials and dyes over longer periods whilst flags and banners flown near the coast where winds can be strong can also be damaged).

• Are there flagpoles in place or is there a requirement to hire flagpoles?

• Will the flagpoles be in a public area? (if so you may need to opt for a flagpole with an internal halyard to reduce the risk of interference when flying a flag).

• If flagpoles are to be hired, how long will they be in situ?

Will planning permission be required?

• Will the flags be illuminated at night? Protocol dictates that national flags should be illuminated.

Icon:SLS flags placed near coast

Flags can be constructed simply from polyester and printed using a simple, single side reverse through process.

However for a higher quality look and greater longevity flags will be made from 'flag' material, a much heavier and more durable substrate that can be hand sewn and double sided, thus being far more robust and resistant to the elements.

It is important with a national flag to ensure that it is flown correctly. However good the quality of the flag it will not achieve its desired affect it if is wrongly displayed and the Union Flag is one of the national flags to be flown upside down on far too many occasions. Whilst this might just be seen as an oversight flying the incorrect flag or flying a national flag incorrectly can, in the worst case scenario, cause significant embarrassment and place unnecessary strain of international relationships!

With extensive experience both in the UK and internationally of dressing events, venues and cities, Icon:SLS understands how flags and banners can contribute to creating a real 'wow' factor.

With a huge stock of rental flagpoles Icon:SLS can offer their customers a wide choice of sizes from 6m to 20m. Rental periods can be from as little as one day to a long term annual hire. Flagpoles can be installed on hard surfaces using weighted bases or soft ground using ground anchors. In other instances flagpoles can be fixed to marquees and temporary structures to add colour and movement.

In addition with their huge print buying ability Icon:SLS is able to provide flags and banners at very attractive prices.

With over 15 years of experience and an in depth knowledge of planning restrictions, health and safety and installation techniques etc, Icon:SLS is able to help local councils, event organisers and venues to engage with the flag and embrace the event.

This experience has resulted in ICON: SLS providing flags and banners for such key events as the G20 Conference 2009, the Queen's Jubilee Celebrations 2012 and the Pope's Visit 2010 amongst many others.

For more information please call 01256 764 994 or visit www.sls-group.co.uk

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