Coastal Decor Nautical Signal Flags by IB Designs, USA

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Installing a Valance Curtain Rod

Center Support for Odd Numbers of Valance Signal Flags

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Hanging an Odd Number of Flags

A typical valance is usually a length of the same basic material, reaching from one end of a curtain rod to the other. It may be divided into sections, but it typically slides over the valance rod and that's the end of it. On the other hand, our nautical flag valances are made up of separate flags, slipped over the curtain rod with spaces between each flag. This leads to a minor problem when dealing with long valances and the center support for a long curtain rod.

curtain rod center support - singleheavy-duty double curtain rod center supportThe center support is usually a screw-in piece of hardware used on rods that extend 60" or more. They're designed for a single curtain rod (pictured at the left) or for double curtain rods (pictured to the right).

The center support hardware that comes with longer curtain rods prevents sagging in the middle of the rod. When installing the curtain rod, it's natural to assume that this center support should go in the center. That's all well and good, until you consider what happens with an odd number of flags.

Move the Center Support Left or Right

Here's a 9-flag valance we put together in our living room. It spells "Adventure." Notice that the checkerboard letter "N" sits right smack dab in the middle of the curtain rod. Therefore, if we'd put the center support in the middle, it would prevent the flag from sliding to the middle of the curtain rod. To resolve the problem, we moved the center support about 5 inches to the right. It could've been five inches to the left – it's just a personal choice.

nautical room patio door with navy signal flags

Below, you can see how the support hardware would prevent the flag from sitting correctly on the curtain rod.

nautical theme room decoration valance

Keep this in mind when you're hanging a curtain rod for a valance with an odd number of flags. It's particularly an issue for 7-flag and 9-flag valances, because those will use longer rods. A 40" window probably wouldn't require the center support, but if it did, and you were using 5 flags, you'd also want to move that center support left or right during the installation.

This is a typical patio sliding door, 72" wide (6 feet). We extended the curtain rod about two inches to either side of the traverse rod holding the blinds. With the combination of the two rods, both overhanging the window frame, we found that nine flags looked very good. We also had to put in some thin, wooden spacers in order to push the curtain rod holding the valance out beyond the blinds. 

How Much Space Between Flags?

For shorter valances of five or six flags, half an inch between the flags is fine. On the longer valances, we're finding that about an inch looks better. As of this writing, there are no laws currently on the books requiring that nautical signal flags be spaced at any set distance. We have seen, though, that with very wide spacing the banners tend to look a bit sparse. In other words, have fun! Whatever looks good in your situation, that's what you should do.

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