Simpson Desert – Sand Flags

As everyone should by now be aware, Sand Flags are a requirement when travelling in any part of the Simpson Desert.

These are required as a safe guard against having a head on collision with a vehicle heading the opposite direction up the other side of a sand dune.  The idea is the person will see your flag, and you theirs, giving enough time to stop before any sort of accident occurs.

While anything is better than nothing, and some people just zip tie a pair of old jocks to their UHF antenna, there is a minimum set of requirements that were introduced in March 2014. These are:

Flag:  Minimum 300mm wide by 290mm highMade of fluorescent materials, red-orange or lime-yellow in colour. 

Vehicles With front bulbar – flag pole attached to the bulbar, with top of the flag a minimum 3.5 metres from the ground 

Without front bulbar – flag pole attached via bracket at the front of the vehicle, with top of the flag a minimum 3.5 metres from the ground; alternatively flag pole attached to the front of the roof rack, with top of the flag a minimum 2 metres from the roof of vehicle

So with this in mind, I measured the point from my bullbar where I can attach the flag and it sits around 800mm off the ground. So in order to achieve a scenario where the top of the flag is 3.5 meters off the ground, I would need to use a 2.7m flag as a minimum.  If your mounting point is higher, then obviously you can get away with a shorter pole.

Also, if you’re like me and have run out of bull bar mounting points you may be in the market for something like the bracket below.  You can purchase these from ARB stockists and they come in different diameters depending on the diameter of your bullbar hoops.

As far as Sand Flags go, I’ve been researching what commercial options are available and below are a couple of options that I’ve found. Note most flag are not intended to be used at highway speeds so you’ll be needing to stow the flag for the majority of the trip.

Mine Whips

These guys obviously supply to the mining industry, however they do a specific Simpson Desert flag that meets the requirements. The poles can be purchased in varying lengths to satisfy the minimum requirements set out above. Poles can be fixed or in sections to allow for easier stowage when not in use.

They have a neat little flag builder tool on their website that allows you to build your own flag and then order it.

I would be looking at a 3 meter, two piece flag pole with quick release snap on base.  This comes in at $127 + $25 freight.  This would work for my scenario, however if your bull bar is higher, then you could go the 2.5 meter option, but note, there is no difference in price.


Kulkyne offer a variety of flag options, however their standard flag is smaller that the regulation requires. They do offer a regulation flag, however it’s not part of their kits. Probably best to ring these guys to get an exact price for a compliant result.

Other Options

You can of course go to ARB and purchase one from them, however you’re looking at over $200 for any of their options. You can also pick them up on eBay and Gumtree however there would be no guarantee of compliance with the regulations, unless specifically stated.

I have purchased from these guys before and this appears to be a pretty good option especially considering the free freight:

There is also the option of making your own. I’ve read that a lot of people use an old VHF antenna or similar with a cut out piece from a high vis vest zip tied to the top.  If you’re the handy type this may also be an option.

People also use the thicker orange PVC conduit which I was thinking of doing, however they are prone to snapping in the wind.

I’m probably going to end up purchasing the Mine Whips version that suits my needs along with the ARB bullbar bracket.



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