Do You Know About Baltimore’s Secret Flagpole?

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Flagpole Canton

There’s a flagpole in Canton that’s not like the other flagpoles. Because sometimes it flies a pirate flag.

The flagpole, which sits at the corner of Kenwood and Dillon Streets in Canton, apparently dates back to when there was a VFW hall in the area. That hall is long gone, but its flagpole remained–and sat, sadly flagless, for a long time. Until a group of Baltimore hacker types decided to get involved.

Back in 2013, a Reddit poster and “some cohorts” decided it was time to reclaim the unused flagpole. Doing so was not as easy as it might sound. In order to run a flag up the pole, they needed to rethread it somehow. But their ladders weren’t tall enough; the pole was too flimsy to shimmy up; and renting a cherry picker would’ve set them back nearly $300.

So they did what you’d expect any good group of hackers to do: They hacked the pole. Here’s how they describe the process:

We put our heads together and used a bit of imagination to make a 30ft long telescoping PVC pipe “fishing pole” to hoist up some fishing line with a sinker to sling over the small hook at the top. (By imagination, I meant duct tape.) Total cost was less than $5 for supplies after returning $16 of PVC pipe from the Canton Ace Hardware a block away (Thanks Ace!). Threading the hook at the top took less than 3 minutes. Including construction and destruction of the PVC pole, the whole ordeal took less than an hour.

And here’s what their Flexible Long-Arm Gizmo (F.L.A.G.) looked like in action:

While the flagpole-reclaimers admit that they’ve had some fun hoisting some unusual flags, they’re not the only ones making use of the now-functional flagpole. “It has been commandeered by pirates in the past,” they admit.

Don’t you love how enterprising humans can be when they want to be?



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