Suppose diplomacy failed and war struck the world, then foreign armies attack the US, and you’re left alone to defend your base. No weapons, yet you need to prevent the Old Glory from falling into the hands of your enemies. What would you do?
You’re probably thinking of how you will scale the flagpole and get access to the little golden sphere (finial ball) at the top; maybe inside, there’s a match, a bullet, and a razor. You will use the razor to cut the stars and flag stripes, burn the remains with the match, then defend the base with the bullet or blow your brains off depending on the situation.
Well, that story is an urban legend. And you might be from another planet if you haven’t met a service member that hasn’t heard the story.
Would you like to purchase some flagpole products and get to know what’s in the finial ball? Visit Atlantic Flag and Pole website. All our products are manufactured in the U.S.A, and we value quality, especially when it comes to Old Glory. Ours is a state-of-the-art design and top-notch components combination to ensure you get the best looking and long-lasting flags in the industry.
So, what’s the purpose of the finial ball? The sad truth is that it serves no particular purpose. The primary purpose of this ball is decoration and pole maintenance. It helps ornament solid flagpoles and prevents water from entering the hollow ones.
At one point, the top of the military flagpoles featured gold-colored eagles. However, they proved useless because flags would entangle hopelessly during strong winds hence the switch to the sphere to do away with this challenge.
Common Flagpole Ball Theory
As logical as that sounds, different rumors about the finial ball continue to spread across the services. Some people believe there’s a single rice grain or wheat grain meant to strengthen a soldier so he can defend the flag and rebuild food supplies should the soldier overcome the foreign attackers while defending the flag. To others, there is a penny, so America will never face insolvency.
Other people believe there’s a thread and needle stashed inside the finial to repair a damaged flag in case of victory. Others assume there’s a hidden pencil to write down every single event for historical documentation.
In real life, if you find yourself alone, attacked by a strong foreign army, the possibility of being able to carry out the flag protection ritual is next to impossible. And you should probably have it in mind that nations don’t win a war by capturing the flag.
What’s the flagpole ball made of?
The finial ball is made from two curved aluminum pieces connected and placed on a threaded rod to fit perfectly into the flag post. The post houses the pulley system. , As we said earlier, fitting the ball to the post ensures water does not access the hollow flagpoles. Most trucks are designed with threaded holes to hold the ball.
Most legends are involved in the military; therefore, an ordinary person shouldn’t bother him/herself with installing the right items.
What’s really inside the Gold Ball?
Ever looked at the finial ball and wondered what’s in it? Well, the military generation has passed down a series of stories regarding items hidden in those shiny pole-tope spheres. Surprisingly, the hidden items vary depending on who is telling the tale, but the purpose of the item is always similar; to capture and save the flag if a military base gets attacked by foreign enemies. A brave soldier must use the hidden objects to defend the Old Glory by preventing the stripes and the stars from falling into the wrong hands. If defeated, he/she must accord the flag a decent send-off.
The uninspiring truth is that there’s nothing hidden in the finial ball. Well, at least not in most finial balls. Balls are typically the ideal flagpole choice as they do not hold or tear the flag as it blows up and over the pole. Regardless, we attach some merit to the legend. After all, it strengthens the American flag’s symbolic importance and a soldier’s commitment to his or her duty.
The American flag is a vital element in military culture. Its value exceeds the freedom or patriotic symbol; it’s a symbol of resistance, territory marker, and a victory proclamation. Alternatively, flag-lowering or capturing is a sign of defeat and mourning. Therefore, it is not a surprise that the flag alongside the poles supporting it is a military lore subject.