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Flags and Pennants

Receive antennas for limited space with good noise rejection
like the Ewe. They are ground independent, too, a big plus!

Photo courtesy of W7IUV Here is a compendium of information about these excellent low-noise receive antennas. The Pennant was originated by EA3VY and optimized for 160 meters by K6SE, who first wrote about them on the Top Band Reflector in 1998. It also performs very well on 80 and 40 meters. I built a Flag antenna pointed at Europe and was pleased with the results. I plan to build more of them. K6SE did a great job optimizing these antennas and explaining the design to fellow hams. Actually, JF1DMQ wrote an earlier article about the Flag antenna in November 1995 in a Japanese magazine. His was only 3.3 feet by 16.4 feet long (1 by 5 m). K6SE's 160m optimized versions are 14 by 29 feet (4.3 by 8.8m).
- - Updated 26 Mar 2002 - - - - Photo courtesy of W7IUV - -
Photo courtesy of W7IUV To my fellow low bands operators who have found the K3KY Flags and Pennants page useful, my heartfelt thanks. We all owe a debt of gratitude to Earl Cunningham, K6SE (SK), for his outstanding work promoting these antennas. To all others who contributed to the development of this antenna family, my thanks also. My special appreciation to K3SX, who was the first to tell me about Flags. Watch this space- as time permits, I'll be adding new items. This topic has grown quite broad and deep- new contributions have appeared continually over the past decade. My objective is to provide a compact and easy to use collection of article links about these antennas. I believe this listing has saved fellow hams a lot of search time, over the years!
- - Photo courtesy of W7IUV - - - - Updated 01 Sep 2007 - -

Classic Rotatable Flag for 160 meters by W7IUV
W7IUV's pioneering rotary Flag design, a true classic. Many have now been built. They are not too difficult to set up and get working. They have only a ~15 foot (5m) turning radius. Very impressive performance for its size. Null steering is great for knocking down precipitation static coming from a specific direction. Try one! Work DX from a smaller size QTH. This is probably the best rotary design to build, for first timers. Should you have any doubts, a fixed wire loop, pointed towards your desired DX, is the easiest of all to build. It will likely convince you of their value. Switching between your transmit antenna and the Flag, you'll sometimes hear weak DX signals pop up out of the noise to become completely readable.

Pennant Antenna With Remote Termination Control by WA1ION
Reduced Size and Elevated Flag Antenna Models by VE6WZ
New NX4D WF Latest Results
by NX4D and N4IS

Small Rotary Loop, Amazing Results

4ea. FT50B-77, binocular, with 8 turns
RG316, makes a very good choke (40dB!).

- - Photo courtesy of N4IS - -

Waller Flag Common Mode Chokes
by N4IS (.pdf 381KB download)

Rotaries- Flag vs. Waller Dual Loop
by IV3PRK (.pdf 2.44MB download)
The Waller loop is said to be the equivalent of a rotary Beverage antenna. That's right, I said "Rotary" Beverage. The basic Waller has only a ~13 foot (4m) turning radius. Are you interested? I certainly am! Due to low signal output, you will need two preamps, including one at the antenna. Good feedline decoupling is essential. The .pdf by N4IS shows some effective common mode choke designs. It takes a fair amount of detail work to get everything 'just right', but it's worth the effort. IV3PRK has also published some excellent info about relative performance of rotary Flag and Waller Loop designs.
  - - Updated 22 Aug 2014 - -

See QST Magazine, July 2000, page 34 for K6SE's classic article:
"Flags, Pennants, and Other Ground-Independent
Low-Band Receiving Antennas"

Links in this table point mainly to contemporaneous, original posts to the Top Band Reflector from 1998 to present. Organized here for ease of use- will save you hours of archive searches to pull out the strongest, most relevant information.

Please note that this table is under frequent revision, and may ocasionally contain 'broken links'. More interesting new items coming soon!
Basic Pennant Description More Basic Information More Basic Information
Size, Pattern, Termination Basic Information Q&A G4VGO Reports
Good Results
Elevation Angle,
Multi-Antenna Interaction
Minimizing Interaction
With TX Verticals
TX Vertical Interaction,
Transformer Details
Switching Multi Antennas-
Point-Fed Pennant Is Best
Multi Antennas- Regular
Coax Switches NOT OK
Performance Compared to
Beverages, Phased Vert
More Transformer Design,
TX Vertical Interaction
Effect Of Termination
Resistance On F/B Ratio
Termination Res Critical
To Good Noise Rejection- 1
EA3VY Magazine Article,
Design Comments
W7IUV's Rotary Flag
(Great Xfmr Info!)
Signal Output Is Low
But Performance is Good
Importance of F/B Ratio Termination Res & F/B,
More Transformer Notes
  Matching Xfmr
Theory- W8JI
Final Consensus
Xfmr Design? (No)
  W7IUV Early
Xfmr Insights
W8JI Xfmr comments
More Transformer
Theory- VK3APN
More Transformer
Theory- W8JI
W7IUV Further Comments
More Transformer
Theory- VK3APN
More Transformer
Theory- W8JI
Pennant & Flag Arrays
W7IUV Recommended Xfmr W8JI 3-Core
Binocular Xfmr
K6SE Rethinks
FT140-43 Xfmr
W7IUV- Binocular
Core Sources
Xfmr Ferrite
Core Suppliers
Phasing Loop Arrays Phasing Loop Arrays Phasing- End Fire Better?
Phasing Loop Arrays Phasing Loop Arrays JF1DMQ Flag
W7IUV Ant. Comparisons-
Very Informative!
Flag User
Report- G. Maroti
Flag Comments
K6SE Comments
on Rotary Flag
Delta RX
Delta RX
Flag Performance
W7IUV Delta
Pennant Remote
Termination Control
Pennant Working? W7IUV- More
on Delta
W7IUV Preamp-
IK2BCP Build
Pennant Preamps W7IUV 2N5109
Preamp Comments
W7IUV 2N5109
Preamp Comments
WA1ION & K6SE Q&A W7IUV Compares
Low Noise Antennas
Room for 4
Pennants- Part 1
K9AY Comments-
Rx Loop Families
K9AY Comments-
Rx Loop Families
Room for 4
Pennants- Part 2
Waller Loop
Waller Loop
Flag Pennant
Feedline Routing
N3OX Small
(7x14ft) Rotary Flag
Report- Great Info!
Termination Res Critical
To Good Noise Rejection- 2
Expect Low F/S
With a Single Flag
K6SE Small Diamond
Loop Design
Diamond Configuration

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