Pole will be hot!
From: Clara Weber
Date: July 12, 2006
Subject: Instructional document memo
The following information will provide you with some basic information about my instructions.
My task is to thoroughly explain how to tape a color guard flag.
My intended readers include any one involved in color guard. Basic terms are included so even beginners will understand these instructions.
I have included visuals of most of the materials and many of the steps. I choose pictures for steps where a visual would be helpful in completing the step.
This is not the only way of taping a flag and
the most basic. I learned this method as a member of the University of
Here are the instructions as requested about taping colorguard flags. I will first define the parts of the flag and then supply a list of the materials you will need. Next, I will take you step by step through the proper methods of taping your flag. Last, I will provide a few helpful hints to remedy common problems. With these instructions you should be able to properly tape your flags.
Pole- It is the long, cylindrical, metal or fiber glass cylinder.
Silk- The large sheet of material most people know as a flag. It is often made of a silk like material.
Casing- The piece of silk circling the pole.
Tip-The top of the pole
Butt- The bottom of the pole
Bolt- This piece is usually placed under the tip to weight the pole. It is called a bolt but is technically a carriage screw.
Cheat tape- Band of tape marking where to grab the pole.
Tab- Small piece sometimes attached to the bottom edge of the casing, used to attach the silk to the pole. It is also referenced in color guard instruction to refer to the center of the pole bottom of the casing.
Cap- Refers to the piece covering the butt or tip.
You now have a knowledge of the terms used in reference to each part of the flag. In the next section I will cover the materials required for taping a flag.
Flag pole- Can be purchased through a marching band website.
Two chair tips (plastic or rubber) 1” diameter- These can be purchased at your local lumber or hardware store.
Charcoal Lighter fluid
Rag or gloves – Anything to protect your hands from a small amount of heat.
In this section I provided you with a list of materials you will need. Have these materials on hand as you begin the taping process, which will be covered in the next section.
d. Depending on how the pole is weighted, there may be bolts in the butt and tip. These can be removed by simply pulling and will likely have tape on them which will need removed.
e. You should now have all pieces removed from your pole unless you have velcro flags. In this case you may also remove the velcro from the pole if it needs replaced.
f. The last step in this section is to clean the pole. One way to do this is by wiping it down with lighter fluid. To do so place a few drops of lighter fluid on a paper towel and use this to rub off all the tape residue.
2. Now that all the tape is removed and the pole is cleaned you can replace the Velcro and cheat tape<>a. Velcro should be placed where it will line up with the Velcro on the flag. The lower Velcro should be at the center of the pole. Use a tape measure to find the center and then place a small piece of tape there to mark it.
c. After the center is marked with either
tape or Velcro you need to add the
cheat tape. This is placed either to mark half way between the tab and
or to mark off thirds between the
tab and butt. Once you have found and marked
these place with a small piece of tape you are ready to apply the cheat
Place the end of the tape at the
marker perpendicular to the pole. Wrap the
tape around the pole two to three times so that each layer is directly
of the previous tape.
a. To apply the first strip of tape, place the end a little more than one cap length from the butt of the pole. As you unroll about a foot of tape at a time with one hand use the other to hold the end of the tape down. As you go along use the hand which is on the end of the tape to slowly move up the pole and press down the tape. Make sure your line of tape remains as straight as possible and smooth out any bubbles as they appear.
b. Unroll the tape up to the small piece of tape you placed as a marker. Then use scissors to cut it at this point and then press this end down.c. The following piece of tape should be placed next to the first overlapping it by a small amount and added in the same manner as the first. Continue adding pieces each overlapping the previous by a small amount. As you come close to completely covering the the pole, try to space the strips to
4. The next step is to tape the top end of the pole to minimize rattling.
a. You need to tightly wrap the tape once around the top of the pole. It should be half way on the pole and have half its width hanging off.
b. Now tear the tape at this length and then tuck the portion that is not on the pole neatly inside the pole. The tape should naturally curl into the pole.
5. Now that the pole is ready for the bolt the next step is to prepare the bolt. The bolt if not properly taped causes a lot of noise when the flag is in use. This can be very distracting. There are many different ways of weighting poles, but most commonly they are weighted with a simple carriage screw which can be bought at the hardware store. I personally like a three inch bolt.
a. Because the bolt is not seen there is not as much care taken in the appearance of the taping. The best method is to cut a really long piece of tape (an arms length should be good) and wad it around the bolt. The easiest way to do this is to attach it in a few spots and squash the rest on.<>
c. Once the bolt is in place cut two short pieces of tape. Use these to secure the bolt. Press them to the center of the bolt forming and X and then pull them down over the end of the pole.
If your pole has rubber caps it is likely they will not come off by simply pulling. If this is the case, boil a small cup of water in the microwave. Place the cup of water on the floor. You may want to place a hot pad under it to protect the floor.
Now place the end of the pole (with the cap you wish to remove) in the water for about fifteen seconds or until hot. The heat will cause both the plastic and metal to expand. The plastic expands much more than the metal allowing for it to be removed.
Once the pole is hot remove it from the water and the cap should now come off easily, however make sure to protect your hand from the hot pole with a rag or gloves.<>
Pole will be hot!
The most simple way to fix bunched tape is by using your thumbs to smooth out the bumps. If you still can not get the bumps out, pull up the tape and check to see if there is anything under it. When wrapping the tape around the pole the best way to avoid bumps is to wrap very tightly so the tape stretches.
In this section I provided a few helpful tips in solving the two most common problems.
You now have the knowledge of the proper steps to taping your flags and how to avoid problems. You will be able to confidently tape flags on your own, and you will be ready for your first performance.