A backyard flag pole is installed in a sleeve which is buried in the ground and secured with concrete. It is then sealed and the area surrounding it is filled in with sand and dirt. The design is meant to keep the flag pole erect even in high winds. Removing the pole often requires a little effort but the process is fairly straightforward. The pole itself is removed first and then the foundation is dug up.
Removing the Collar of the Flag Pole
Flag poles have a collar that surrounds the base of the pole. It is usually made of a plastic or steel flashing material. The first step to removing the pole is to remove this collar by prying it up from the ground with a shovel. In some cases, rain and time causes the flashing to sink into the earth so a little elbow grease may be required. After the collar is loosened and lifted you will see the sleeve in which the flag pole is seated.
Loosening the Flag Pole for Removal
Since the flag pole is set into the plastic sleeve and packed in tight with concrete and dirt, it might be difficult to lift the pole from the sleeve. It is also coated with a sealant and secured with cement. If there is a visible bead of silicone, cut this first with a knife. It might be necessary to dissolve the cement holding the flag in place. If the pole does not budge at all, attempt to soften the cement with an adhesive solvent.
If the flag pole is still stuck in the hole, try pushing it back and forth to loosen it inside the sleeve. Apply a lubricant like WD-40 to the base of the pole as well and let it set into the sleeve. These steps will help dislodge any remaining cement and loosen up the sleeve. Digging around the concrete foundation may also help relieve pressure on the sleeve. In most cases, the pole will slide right out of the hole.
Removing the Foundation of the Flag Pole
Once the flag pole is removed the concrete foundation will be all that remains. One option is to fill the remaining hole with concrete and cover the area with dirt. Another option requires a bit more work. The concrete foundation may be dug up and removed. To accomplish this, dig around the concrete foundation using a shovel until you have cleared enough dirt for the entire installation to be removed.
Lift the foundation piece out of the ground either by hand or with the help of a hoist. Another option is to pry the concrete block out of the ground with a steel bar. Most concrete foundations weigh less than 50 pounds, so they require just a little bit of muscle and the assistance of a helper.