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Mackinac Center for Public Policy
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2009 Senate Bill 357: Regulate flag pole construction
  1. Introduced by Sen. Gilda Jacobs (D) on March 11, 2009, to extend state regulations on public playground equipment to include flagpoles, and require public flagpoles to be made of aluminum or a material that is considered by the industry to be high strength and lightweight material. The bill is introduced following the recent death of a child when a flag pole fell on her in a wind storm.
    • Referred to the Senate Education Committee on March 11, 2009.
      • Reported in the Senate on February 23, 2010, with the recommendation that the bill pass.


Re: 2009 Senate Bill 357 (Regulate flag pole construction )  by Moondog on March 20, 2010 

And why do they spend time on something that has happened one time. These guys have too much time on their hands. Bathtubs kill a couple hundred kids every year. Maybe they can create a bathtub agency to study this terrible problem. It shouldn't require more than about 10 or 12 overpaid government lackeys. Hey, I just created 10 or 12 jobs. Can I be president now? This is fun and what the heck, it ain't my money.

Re: 2009 Senate Bill 357 (Regulate flag pole construction )  by shearwater on February 25, 2010 

Why is it government's job to regulate flagpole construction?  There are so many options when installing flagpoles that meet with current technology standards.  Laminared qood, fiberglass, steel, aluminum.  This law proposal tells me that we need a part time legislature in Lansing.

Re: 2009 Senate Bill 357 (Regulate flag pole construction )  by paul101 on August 10, 2009 

The bill is short sighted at best.

First of all, the flagpole that recently fell on the student appears to ahve been made of steel as they say it rusted from the inside out. Further, it also apears to be about 60 years old from other articles. Basically, the school failed to maintain their flagpole, did not use good judgement in allowing their students to play around a product that was deteriating and during high winds to beat all.

Secondly, there are aluminum flagpoles that would qualify accordingly to this bill but still fail the standards set up by the NAAMN association. Flagpoles are made from steel, stainless steel, bronze, aluminum and fiberglass. They will all fail under certain conditions and all need periodic maintenance and inspections. Especially when they are 60 years old.

If the senator wants to help prevent accidents of this type, the building codes for schools, parks and playgrounds would be the place to start. I would suggest the following:

1) Flagpoles with traditional exterior halyards only. This would eliminate high maintenance costs, require parts that are of less weight, and remove the need for a counter weight which are nortorious for falling.

2) Require flagpoles to exceed the NAAMN specifications by 25% or more as a safty factor.

3) Require flagpoles to placed away from areas of pedestrian traffic by 1.5 times the exposed height of the flagpole.


Then require these places to:

1) Perform regular inspections and maintenance of flagpoles.

2) Restrict children from hoisting a flag on flagpoles that are not inspected on a regular basis. This should include inspections after storms.

3) Restrict children from hoisting a flag on flagpoles during high winds, etc.


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