• The ball on the top is not the "truck". Acc to Wikipedia, "The pole is usually topped by a flat plate called a "truck" (originally meant to keep a wooden pole from splitting) or by a ball or a finial in a more complex shape." also this: I have a question about flagpoles and flagpole history. I hope you can help. I had heard that the truck of the flagpole flying the American flag is supposed to contain several items. Can you tell me what these items are or where where I might find the information? Thank you very much. Christopher Hi Christopher, I have installed many flagpoles. The truck attachment to commercial flagpoles is like the cap on a pipe. The flagpoles is a long metal, usually aluminum today, tube, hollow on the inside. The truck is a cap the covers the top of the pole and keeps the weather, and rain, out. It also serves to hold the pulley through which the rope halyard runs to raise and lower the flags. The third purpose is to hold the finial, or ornament at the top of the pole. Therefore the truck usually has a hole tapped in the center into which a bolt can be screwed. The most common finial is a gold ball which allows the flag to easily slide off if the flag flies on top of it. Also used are eagles in the US. Other countries use other finials, but the ball is still most common. The truck is held in place by screws tightened against the pole. Hope this helps you. Lee L. Herold Sadly, I have not been able tofind out why it is called a truck, though.
  • Historically, the ball on the flagpole was, during wartime said to hold three items. One was a match with which to burn the flag before it could be captured by the enemy. The second was a bullet with which one could commit suicide before being killed by the enemy. The third object escapes me. Hope this helps.

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