Build Your Own Flag Pole Using Lashings - ITS Tactical

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Build Your Own Flag Pole Using Lashings

By Bryan Black

KOTW Round Lashing

Continuing with our Lashings on the Knot of the Week, today we’ll be looking at the Round Lashing and discussing the variations and uses.

The Round Lashing is commonly used to lash up triangular A-frames of poles for rigging a block and tackle. If joining timber poles is what you’re after, like in creating a flag pole, you’ll want to exclude the frapping turns to secure the poles tightly to each other.

You’ll often see this lashing referred to as a Shear Lashing or Seizing, which we’ve gone over previously on the KOTW. We like to keep things simple and refer to this as a Round Lashing that you can use with or without the center frapping turns.

Two of these lashings can also be used for further security when joining poles. If what you’re joining will be weight-bearing, you’ll need to use a Square Lashing which is designed to hold weight. Think of the Round Lashing as what to use on the horizontal floor of the levels in a structure or the slats on a raft.

Round Lashing » Lashings

(Strength: 4/Secure: 4/Stability: 3/Difficulty: 3)

Please refer to our Knot of the Week introduction post for a description of what these ratings mean.


  • Rigging an A-Frame for block and tackle
  • Creating a Flag Pole
  • Making a raft

Tying Instructions:

  1. Start your Round Lashing with a Clove Hitch on your left-most pole.
  2. Starting left to right will get the working end running the right direction, as your next step will be wrapping.
  3. Wrap firmly, but not too tightly around both poles with the working end approximately 8 to 10 times.
  4. Now make 2-3 frapping turns between the two poles, (exclude this step if joining poles like in a flag pole) ending close to the opposite side of where you started your initial Clove Hitch on.
  5. Finish off the lashing with another Clove Hitch on this opposite side and tuck in the excess working end into the wrappings.

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  • VVR41TH

    The Eagle Scout in me would note that a shear lashing and a round lashing aren’t the same. The difference is in the fraps: sheer lashings have them; round lashings don’t. It’s a product of their uses, because sheer lashings are for, say, a very narrow a-frame (a square lashing could also be used, especially if the a-frame is more of an equilateral triangle); round lashings are for a flag pole.

    While the Boy Scout in me hates this, a quick Google search found a Girl Scout image that clarifies the difference:

    • VVR41TH,

      Our attempt with presenting the Round Lashing was to simplify two different lashings (shear and round) into one. That may have been lost in translation, or might be something people are dead set against letting go of. We felt that frapping or no frapping wasn’t enough of a difference to take this to two separate posts (shear and round) for our KOTW series.

      The whole lashing/frapping/seizing technique to me should all be combined as simply “lashing.” This is just my opinion, but there’s only so many ways to use these techniques and yes there’s the fact that something sturdier must be used for weight-bearing, but the overall concept is what I feel is important.

      Not that you were saying this with your comment, but people often get caught up in terminology and the right way to pronounce things, like “bow line” vs. “bolin.” Who cares? Just learn how to tie it and put it in your toolbox. Rant off…

      Anyhow, thanks for bringing this up.
      ~ Bryan

  • Peter

    How would this particular knot apply to making a flagpole? Seeing as it bends, i don’t think it would be very sturdy??

  • Peter


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