Ask Us: What are the rules for placing flags on utility poles?

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 4, 2021

Editor’s note: Ask Us is a weekly feature published online Mondays and in print on Tuesdays. We’ll seek to answer your questions about items or trends in Rowan County. Have a question? Email it to

SALISBURY — Generally, flags are not allowed to be attached to utility poles.

A reader asked about rules for private citizens placing flags on utility poles. Duke Energy spokesperson Jeff Brooks said the utility company does not allow pole attachments because they are a safety concern for crews working on the poles and the public. Crews will remove items attached to pole if they are in violation.

Duke inspects utility poles on a regular basis. The utility is legally allowed and required to maintain utility poles on other people’s property, and it may use contractors for inspections.

Duke may allow attachments if they are made through an agreement with the utility. Those agreements have to follow rules for dimensions and placement.

“Those agreements have strict requirements,” Brooks said.

Brooks said municipalities and county governments can request certificates to make pole attachments. Interested communities can contact Duke Energy.

Flags may be permitted on street lights through a lighting attachment agreement with Duke Energy. But those agreements are separate from utility pole agreements.

Most municipalities have specific ordinances regarding the display of signs in other areas and special exceptions for flags. Salisbury, for example, does not consider “noncommercial flags or any other flags displayed from flagpoles” to be considered as signs. In April, Landis amended its ordinances on signs to allow U.S. , N.C., Rowan County and Landis flags on flag poles as long as they are not more than 50 square feet in total area and 48 feet in height.

Carol Herndon said RSS did not track Allotments in 2017 as we have just started doing. What we can say with certainty is that we used the state Allotment this year.

Has the county, state reduced number of teacher assistants during the last few years, especially this year?
A reader asked if the number of teacher assistants in local schools has declined in the past few years.

The answer is that it’s not clear. Rowan-Salisbury Schools Chief Finance Officer Carol Herndon said, going back a few years, the district did not track teacher assistant allotments the same way it does now, but the district is certain this school year it is using the state-suggested allotment formula for teacher assistants.

The formula is two teacher assistants for every three kindergarten classrooms, one for every two first-grade classrooms and one for every three second-grade classrooms.

About Carl Blankenship

Carl Blankenship has covered education for the Post since December 2019. Before coming to Salisbury he was a staff writer for The Avery Journal-Times in Newland and graduated from Appalachian State University in 2017, where he was editor of The Appalachian.

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