Are you proud to fly the American flag? Do you want to add character to your pontoon with a custom flag such as a pirate design? Or perhaps you want to show your allegiance to your favorite sports team?
It’s all possible and some of the newer pontoon boats will come with pre-installed flag holders and mounts. But what about those that don’t come with factory-fitted pontoon flag poles and mounts?
Thankfully they are an inexpensive accessory that you can buy as after-market add-ons, some are better than others, and some are way easier to use than others.
This guide will take you through all that you need in order to successfully buy the best pontoon boat flag holders, mounts, and even the poles themselves.
Handy Hint: If you just want to buy a flag, then you can buy specialist pontoon boat flags – go take a look at some including pirate and American designs.
Best Pontoon Flag Pole
If you just want a pole and nothing else, then I only have one recommendation and that’s from Taylor Made. Why? Because they do great accessories for pontoon boats and have never let me down.
Taylor Made Aluminum 3/4-Inch Flag Pole with Clips
The Taylor Made flag pole has been designed solely for pontoon boats and is manufactured from marine grade anodized aluminum with nylon flag clips.
However, if all you want is a pole it’s just about the best you can get, as you can see by reading some of the Amazon reviews.
It has a chrome finish on the aluminum so will match up seamlessly with your other metal railings and brackets on board, with a thick pole with zero flex – which is a good thing!
You can head comfortably into the wind with your flag flying high with no concerns it’s going to snap off or break.
Best Pontoon Boat Flag Mounts & Holders
There are many different types of mounts available which you can buy if you already have a pole and just need something to slide it into securely. Here are two of the best.
Best Pontoon Boat Flag Holder
This functional pontoon flag pole socket from Taylor Made is really strong, and simply screws into the deck of your pontoon.
It’s made some polished steel and fits flag poles that are 1 ¼ inch.
Best Cheap Socket
There’s cheaper alternative but be aware it only mounts 1-inch flag poles. It’s manufactured by BBI Flags so not a massive name you will know from the boating industry, but it’s still a great product.
The BBI Flags pontoon boat flag pole mount socket is available to buy on Amazon, is made from strong aluminum, and is very heavy duty and will last for years.
Best Kits with Mount, Pole, & Flag Included
If you want everything in one package then here are a couple of suggestions that come with all you need including the mount, pole, socket, and flag itself.
Taylor Made Flag Pole Set in Polished Stainless Steel (Deck Mount)
And now for the best kit you can buy, and that’s the Taylor Made flag pole set. To see the full specification, view the latest prices on Amazon.
It’s a very large pontoon flag pole that works best when screwed into a flat surface such as a deck. You can attach it to railings but do so you would need to purchase the separate rail mounting bracket.
It doesn’t come with the American flag seen in the product photos, so you would need to buy that yourself, but putting that aside, it’s a great pole made from stainless steel that’s very sturdy.
In terms of installation, is pretty easy to fit to a pontoon boat, as long as you have a solid flat surface to screw the mount into.
Best Cheap Pontoon Flag Holder Kit (Rail Mount)
This one does come with the flag, and is a lot more lightweight, plus a lot smaller.
It’s designed for pontoon boats and can be mounted to the top of a railing at a 10-degree angle and takes just a couple of minutes to fit. See for yourself by reading the Amazon reviews.
The clips mean you can detach it in seconds, and also switch out the flags to different ones at any given point.
If you’re just after something perhaps to use on the 4thof July or as a one-off or more irregular use, this would be your best option.
How to Install a Pontoon Boat Flag Pole
Depending on what approach you’re taking, you might not need to follow these steps as the mounts kits shown above come with everything that you already need.
However, if you already have a flag and pole and simply want to know where it’s best placed and how to do it then I’ve put together some advice on how to do so.
It includes comments, suggestions, and photos from other pontoon boat owners where they show how they have attached and fitted their own this year.
Some of the advice in there includes:
- Using a pontoon flag pole kit such as the ones shown in this guide
- Using PVC piping cut down and slotted into fishing rod holders
- Using cheap fender clips attached to a Bimini top or side rail
Is it illegal to fly a pirate flag (the Jolly Roger) from a boat?
No, it’s not, as in U.S. territorial waters there is no legislation making it illegal to fly a pirate flag or any other flag design from your boat.
I want to add a flag holder to the water ski tow bar but haven’t seen many options to do so, what should I do?
What you could do here is mount a piece of PVC pipe with hose clamps. That way you can remove it after a day on the water and works very well.
I want to add an American flag onto my pontoon boat, are there any rules I need to be aware of?
The tradition is to fly national flags from the stern of your boat as this is known as the place of honor and is a custom dating back thousands of years. It’s also done for more practical purposes as most of the time, the captain would be located at the rear of the ship.
Unless the position of the flag pole and mount interferes with the operation of your boat, that should be the best place.
If you are thinking about buying the Stars and Stripes, take a look at the best American flags that are made from marine-grade materials.
What size flag am I allowed to fly from my pontoon boat?
This is a great question and should always be considered when you’re looking to buy your pontoon boat flag and pole.
The general consensus is that you go one inch on the fly for every foot in length of your pontoon.
As an example, let’s say you have a 30-foot Bennington, then you should fly a flag at least 30 inches on the fly.
I want to mount two flags on the stern of the boat. I was going to get a pole mount and mount it to the floor and then buy a 5-foot aluminum flag pole and mount it to that. Does that sound ok?
In a case like this I would use some cheap hose clamps or 4-inch clamps to mount the flag poles onto the water ski bar.
What is a good way to mount a flag on my rails without drilling holes?
For this I would suggest a big bag of zip ties, a roll of duct tape, and a tube of bungee cords. I’ve seen other pontooners use this exact same method with great success.
What Other Pontooners Say
I want to give you as much information as possible, and always make sure you don’t always have to spend money – many pontooners will make up their own DIY flag mounts and holders.
You could certainly do the same, and here’s some more in-depth advice on how to mount yours if you don’t want to buy a pontoon boat flag kit.
Here’s a very short selection of what I read other owners had been doing.
“I always go with the Taylor Made kit. Had one on my old pontoon and actually took it off to put on my new one after upgrading. I love it as it’s easy to change them out. I have one on my bowrider and it has held up well with higher speed and wind.”
“The best mount solution I have found for our standard 5-foot flag poles is to attach them to the ski bars with hose clamps. It holds on very tight even in bad weather such as strong winds and rough water.”
“I don’t bother with pontoon boat flag mounts but instead use a piece of PVC pipe which is then zip tied to the back railing. It doesn’t look pretty but has saved me some money in buying a branded pontoon flag pole mount.”
“I use the redneck method with my US flag flying on an old offshore fishing rod. It’s cost me nothing and works just as well as any of the aftermarket flag holders you can buy on Amazon.”
“My husband mounted a piece of PVC pipe with hose clamps. This way we can remove it after a day on the water. Works great!! I need another one for my pirate flag this summer!”
“For a quick flag pole setup for those of you wanting to mount your flags yourself you can spend $20 on some PVC pipe, with a male and female connector for quick disconnect. I’ll do something more permanent than the clamps later, but I’ve been in a jam for time lately and we wanted to fly the flag proudly this weekend. Now that I have my pole up we’ll fly the flag every weekend!”
“I went old school and cheap. I had a piece of 1-inch wooden dowel rod. I then used tie wraps to secure it to the fencing, leaving enough slack to be able to remove the dowel rod. Then I had a piece of PVC pipe that goes over the wooden dowel rod which was secured to the PVC pipe.”
“I made my own pontoon flag poles out of pipe from Home Depot. I then got the next size larger pipe and mounted that to my ski pole with hose clamps. My flag poles just slide down into the pipes I mounted. Easy up, easy down.”
“I didn’t want anything that looked homemade so bought a Taylor Made pontoon flag pole kit and mount system and attached it to the top rail. I am keeping it a bit more minimal with this boat.”
“I have my 3 x5 foot flag on a PVC pipe with the anchor light on top, it disconnects quick so I can take it down to trailer it. It’s long enough that I can put an extra flag under it. Such as my Marine Corps flag.”
“Our American flag is on our stern light pole. We are going to attach a small UT flag on each side on our Bimini poles with zip ties. That way, it’s not permanent and it is removable at the end of the season when we pack up the pontoon and put the top down.”
“Taylor Made has various size poles and sockets, some aluminum, and some solid stainless steel that are very nice.”
“Something simple from me as all I do is mount my flag poles to the uprights on the ski bar using hose clamps. It works for me, and whilst it’s a little bit of a hack, I only use my flag on July 4thso just perfect.”
“I bought motorcycle flags with mounts and zips tied them to my back-Bimini support. They will cost you about half the price and they unscrew from the mount when I trailer the pontoon.”
“Hey guys, please remember flag protocol. If it’s an American Flag, then always position it center or right stern and show respect to the Stars and Stripes.”
“I have an aluminum fence pole. I drilled a hole at the top, screwed in a pulley, added a bolt with a circular ring on the head ending about 4 feet from the top for rope. Then I added a cleat and at the bottom two U-bolts to connect it to the pontoon.”