Creating Dowel Flags

By March 20, 2005Articles

Originally posted to the SpinTribe forum.

Greetings People of the Tribe!

After my many travels to find just what a minority flagger I am, I am compelled to announce April as “Dowel Awareness Month”. Not to knock all those fabulous weighted flags out there, but this next month sticks rule!

Flags have Flagpoles.

From my perspective of flagging with dowels for three years before I ever had seen or heard of flags with weights sewn in them. True flags will be what our own flags are to ourselves. But I have to tell you…

You can beat it with a stick.

I have received various degrees of interest over the years, but in response to many recent request for information on how I make my flags I invite you to…

Lose the weight.

With my simple and basic Flag Recipe you too can get a grip on a stick.

Poll of the Poles.

I am interested in hearing anyone’s experiences with dowels. The history in the gay community vs. that of weighted flags. I know from my own experience that they came to Dallas from Florida. I see the obvious relation of flags with dowels to the flagging of many cultures and Christan worship-dance.

Please e-mail me with any information you might be able to contribute or any questions you might have.

In observation of Dowel Awareness Month, enjoy your DAM Month!


Flag-Flag Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 pieces of fabric (cut into rectangles)
  • 2 hardwood dowels
  • Roll of 3M ½” Blue masking tape
  • 12oz of 7-Up
  • 4 count of half-ass vodka
  • Glass of ice

  • Mix 7up, vodka, and ice in glass.
  • Take a swig.
  • Set aside.

Take fabric.

The fabric Barbie is using today is my Tie-dye 8mm silk from Xavier’s class at the NYC Symposium.

The silk ripped in half made for rectangular dimensions of each flag at 44”x37”.Iron each piece out flat and smooth.

Hem unfinished sides of fabric.

I almost always:

  • fold over the edge 1/8″,
  • sew hem,
  • then fold over the edge 1/8″ again,
  • and run another stitch.
  • Mix 7up, vodka, and ice in glass.
  • Take a swig.
  • set aside.

Take rectangle along the short end you plan on being the leading edge of flag.

This will be where you want the dowel to run. On more durable fabric I would only fold this end over 2″, but on lightweight silks like this I roll it over 3″.

  • Pin and iron fold.
  • Run a stitch down the loose end of this fold.
  • You should now have a 3″loop. Run stitches to close up the ends of this loop.

  • Then fold this same end over again, only 1″ this time.
  • Run a stitch down the loose end of this fold.
  • Now you should have a 1″ loop open on both ends with 2 layers of fabric thick.
Layering the fabric like this helps extend the life of the flag.
As you can see in photo on right… it is about 5″ from Barbie’s hand to the rim of that cocktail.
You can see the 3″ fold all ready stiched down and the 1″ fold pinned and ironed ready to sew.
  • Take glass of vodka mixture.
  • Swig.
  • Set aside.

Consider the dowels. The diameter of dowels you will want to use should depend of several factors.The weight and flow of the fabric, the size of flag, how fast and hard you like to play.

The heavier the fabric, the thicker the dowel.  The lighter, the thinner.

For this silk Barbie is using a 3/8″ diameter dowel that came 48″ long.

Barbie is cutting the length down to 41”.

The length of the dowel outside the flag is all up to preference.   Some people like a long hilt to hold onto. People that hold the flag farther from the corner like a shorter hilt if any at all.

  • Take glass of vodka mixture.
  • Swig.
  • Set aside.

  • To strengthen up the dowels I usually spiral tape over them.
  • Generally I use masking tape.
  • But drunk-ass Barbie threw me attitude and insisted on using duct tape.
  • She is part Redneck.
  • (sigh)
  • Take glass of vodka mixture.
  • BIG swig.
  • Set aside.

Insert dowels into the 1″ loops on each flag until they poke out 1″ on the leading points.

That leaves enough length on these dowels to make a 3″ hilt.


Take Blue masking tape. Partially overlap the edge of your flag at the 1″ leading point, press firmly and wrap tape tightly around dowel in a spiral until you reach the end of dowel.

Repeat this on the hilt end of flag.

I prefer Blue masking tape for two reasons.

  1. I love the color blue and it looks better having blue tipped flags than regular masking tape.
  2. The slight adhesiveness of it is easy to remove when you replace the dowels, wash the flags, etc.
  3. It seems to hold the fabric in place well.

Now you are ready to fly!.I hold dowels together and roll up length of fabric when not in use.If you have any questions or need any help please e-mail me.

Yield: Two flags and endless hours of fun.


Perseverance and Pride,
Patric Nast
Dancer Texas
A Flag Dancing Resource

Patric Faeriedaddy

Author Patric Faeriedaddy

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