How To Add Flags To Pontoon Boats

How To Add Flags To Pontoon Boats | Life of Sailing

Last Updated by

Jacob Collier

December 22, 2022

Key Takeaways

  • Flags are an excellent accessory to add to any pontoon boat.
  • The placement of flags should be carefully considered before installation.
  • The easiest way to install a flag is to use a flag mounting kit and brackets.
  • A less expensive way is to cut and paint a piece of PVC pipe to use as a flag pole.

You own a pontoon boat and want to show patriotism by attaching an American flag to the back of your boat. What’s the best way to add flags to pontoon boats?

There are various methods for securing a flag on your pontoon boat. A flag pole mounting kit can be purchased, or owners can rig up other methods. It is essential to consider the best way to display the flag or flags so that the impression of your boat is positive and family-friendly.

With the popularity of pontoon boats on American waterways, more and more families are spending time on the water enjoying all kinds of recreational activities. Since every boat is a reflection of its owner, many operators want to display flags and banners from the rigging of their boats. Whether it is an American flag to show your patriotic spirit, a campaign flag to support a candidate, or just some decorative flags to give your boat a pop of color, you need to plan to secure them. While many operators opt for flag-flying kits, over the years, there have been some ingenious solutions to add flags to the back of a pontoon boat.


Table of contents

How Do You Hang a Flag on the Back of a Pontoon?

There are several ways to secure a flag to the frame of a pontoon.

Check Your Boat for a Pre-Installed Flag Mount Bracket.

Many pontoon boats come with mounts already preinstalled on the rear railings or the rear side of a column. Just like having a holder for a flag pole on your front porch, these kinds of mounts provide good stability for all kinds of flags.

Flag Mounting Kits

Purchasing a flag mounting kit is the easiest solution to the problem of displaying a flag. These kits include a mounting bracket that screws easily to the top of the railing, a telescoping pole and a flag with clips or zip ties. The cost of these kits varies, but you should be able to purchase one that has everything you need for less than $100 - $150.

If you decide to purchase a kit and install the bracket yourself, be careful not to install it in a place where the flag will get in the way of access to the motor or a fishing pole holder or be challenging to take down should you need to. Many owners have indicated that the best place is to attach the flag to the top of the bimini support. (The canvas top that covers the boat and provides shade).

Many of the flag pole kits are designed in such a way that you can hang almost any kind of flag (pirate or sports team fan flag). All the flag needs is a pair of grommets in the side so it can be zip tied or clipped to the pole.

For an example of a flag pole kit especially built for Pontoon boats, see the Amazon website.

PVC Piping

If you decide not to purchase a kit, you can get by more affordably by going to your local hardware store and purchasing some PVC piping. The diameter of the pipe needs to be large enough to fit into the fishing rod holders that most pontoon boats have. Some pontoon boat owners use hose clamps through the flag's grommets, then clamp and tighten them around the PVC piping.  Should the flag not have grommets, it will likely have a pole pocket on the mounting. Simply slide the pole into the pole pocket and clamp it into place.

One owner on a pontoon forum remarked that to prevent the flag from sagging during the boat's movement, the pole was held secure with a bungee cord as reinforcement. At the same time, another painted the PVC pipe black to make it look more professional.

Another option is to secure the flag pole to the bimini rods or the water ski bar. Be careful that the flag pole does not interfere with the operation of the canvas top or the tow rope pulling a tuber or skier. The last thing you want is to lose sight of a tuber because the flag obstructs the view.

Old Fishing Rod

If you are looking for another option, some pontoon owners have secured their flags to an old fishing rod that is then stuck into the fishing pole holders on the back of the boat. While this option might not look the best, it serves a purpose and is a cheap way to go.

How High Should a Flag Be Mounted on a Pontoon Boat?

Most boat owners find that a five-foot flag pole works best. You want to ensure that whatever length you choose does not interfere with low obstructions, like a low-hanging bridge or overpass. (I prefer to have a flag that I can reach from the deck should I need to bring it in quickly. I also prefer to take my flags down after each run, just like our military takes down the flag at night and raises it first thing in the morning).

How Big A Flag Should be Displayed?

There are no rules about what size a flag needs to be, but common sense prevails. Several companies make 16-inch x 24-inch foot flag that looks great from the back of a normal-sized pontoon boat. Some owners like to display miniature flags (two on either side of the rear); in this case, a smaller dimension is best. Many flag etiquette sites indicate that a flag should be no bigger than one inch in length for every foot of length of the boat.

The flag size depends on the impression you wish to make with your boat. (Remember that the larger the flag, the more drag will be on the boat, so you don’t want a flag so large that it impacts the boat's performance or puts anyone at risk).

Should I Fly a Swimmer in Water Flag?

There are regulations concerning swimmers in some states that require boats to fly a red or orange flag to warn other boats in the surrounding area. You should check with your local county or fish and wildlife agency for any boating regulations that might be needed if you plan on swimming, tubing, or skiing on the water.

Is it Illegal to Fly the Pirate Flag?

It is not illegal to fly any kind of flag, whether it is the US flag, the Jolly Roger, or a flag representing your favorite sports team. Remember that your flag will be displayed for the world to see and that being on the lake is often a family-centered environment, so keep any offensive flag in the closet at home.

An American flag is excellent for displaying patriotism on a pontoon boat. The flag demonstrates the owner's pride in our country's freedoms, but it gives a very positive impression of the boat and boat owner.

What is the Best Material for a Boat Flag?

Most nautical flags are made from nylon. Nylon holds up better, last longer, and is more resistant to the effects of strong winds and rain.

What if I want to Hang Two Flags from One Pole?

If this is the case, you should choose smaller-sized flags that look good when displayed from the pole. Leave a couple of inches of space between the flags so that the flags are not on top of each other and don’t get tangled together while flapping in the breeze.

How To Add Flags To Pontoon Boats
Jacob Collier

Jacob Collier

Born into a family of sailing enthusiasts, words like “ballast” and “jibing” were often a part of dinner conversations. These days Jacob sails a Hallberg-Rassy 44, having covered almost 6000 NM. While he’s made several voyages, his favorite one is the trip from California to Hawaii as it was his first fully independent voyage.

Read more articles

by this author

Home /

How To Add Flags To Pontoon Boats

How To Add Flags To Pontoon Boats
7 Best Places To Liveaboard A Sailboat >>Can You Live On A Sailboat Year Round? >>

Most Recent

Important Legal Info

Similar Posts

Popular Posts

Get The Best Sailing Content

Welcome aboard! Check your email...
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon. This site also participates in other affiliate programs and is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies.

(866) 342-SAIL

© 2024 Life of Sailing
Address: 11816 Inwood Rd #3024 Dallas, TX 75244
DisclaimerPrivacy Policy