What is inside the gold ball at the top of the flagpole?

Flagpole Ball

There are many myths or urban legends surrounding the contents of the Gold Ball on top of the flagpole that are installed at military bases.The myth surrounds these items:

  • Razor blade
  • Pistol
  • Ammunition
  • Matches
  • Penny

Pistol, Ammunition & Matches: This is so that the commander instead of surrendering his post to the enemy can instead take down the flag, burn it to prevent desecration, and commit suicide rather than be taken alive.

Razor blade, match, and pistol with one round:  If the post is overrun a soldier is supposed to lower the flag, use the razor to slice off the stripes, use the match to burn the flag, then commit suicide with the pistol.

Pistol, bullet and penny: The pistol so America will never be without arms, the bullet so that that the pistol will never be out of ammo and the penny is so America will never be broke.

We install many flagpoles and flagpole balls and many at military bases and we have not run across any items except the bolt that attaches the ball to the rest of the pole.

What other urban legends have you heard surrounding the flag or flagpole?

Posted on April 1, 2015 and filed under Flag Facts, Flagpole, Flagpole Parts.