On flag sticks:
I had an idea last night as I was daydreaming about hammocks in class - why not make a flagpole out of replacement tent poles? It would be collapsible for transporting, and extendable to whatever height you wanted to make it. A set of replacement tent poles at the local outdoor store here is about $6. A little tape or epoxy around the ends of the poles where the ferrules connect to make them a little harder to pull apart, a couple of small holes drilled on one end of a pole for the flag "ties" or connectors, and there you go!
To take it even farther, you could dual-purpose the flag pole while at camp to a tarp end-extender, to open up the ends of your tarp without guylines or gripclips, or as an internal ridge support to open up a little head room inside the tarp. Or add removable guides, and use it as a "backpacker fishing pole."
I hate classes - I think about everything except what I'm supposed to be thinking about.