Let's say there is a building with six flags on the roof.

The flags are on small poles/sticks that can be carried by a person.

The rectangular flag itself makes me think of 枚 while the pole makes me think of 本.

Maybe there is a unique word for flags.

What is the appropriate measure word to use here ?

  • 2
    I thought this was a daft question, because clearly the flag is way more important than the pole. I was very wrong so +1: jisho.org/search/counter%20for%20flags Jan 29, 2021 at 13:49
  • @user3856370 Thanks for the link, very useful for looking up counters.
    – Kantura
    Jan 29, 2021 at 13:57

1 Answer 1


According to 数え方単位辞典, you can count it by 一本{いっぽん}、一枚{いちまい}、一流{ひとなが}れ、一旒{いちりゅう}、一棹{ひとさお}.

They also explain

旗はポールに掲げられると「本」で数えます。 1本のポールに複数の旗が掲げられた場合は「枚」で数えます。 古くは「流れ」「旒 (ç) 」「棹 (さお) 」などでも数えました。

If several flags on one pole, you can count 『枚』. Usually,『本』for one flag on one pole. I understand 棹{さお} for counting it, but hard to count by the other old format : 流{なが}れ, 旒{りゅう} since never seen them.

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