Golf flags can range from the wicker basket seen famously at Merion Golf Club to rectangle cloth flags the more common option. Merion Golf Club uses wicker baskets when the course designer Hugh Wilson made a trip to Europe in 1912 and saw many courses using them. Wilson thought the basket offered a sense of tradition and showed charm. Another story offers Wilson got the idea for the baskets from sheep herders walking sticks that were topped by wooden wired baskets. The mystery still continues as the Merion Golf Club website says the mystery is still unknown. In 1915 William Flynn the superintendent at Merion and Wilsons assistant received the patent for the wicker basket. These wicker baskets range in color but at Merion the front nine uses red while the back nine is orange. The regular cloth flags range in color, usually a red flag is used for a front pin, white for middle pin and blue for a back pin. Although on the professional tour every flag color is the same, as each play and caddie has a pin sheet. The actual flag stick depends on the golf course. The wicker baskets use a aluminum fiberglass flag pole. But I’ve played many clubs who use wooden sticks for the flags, I like those types they look classy. Many golf courses like Palo Alto Hills Golf Course, Palo Alto, CA and Virginia Country Club, Long Beach, CA has wooden flag sticks. It seems like the higher priced golf clubs have the small details like this. Many clubs will also put the American flag on the tops of flag sticks during national holidays to show respect.