A Flagpole appears at the end of the levels in Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, New Super Mario Bros. and New Super Mario Bros. Wii. The flag on the pole will come in many colors, red normally indicates it is a secret exit in the New Super Mario Bros. games. If a player manages to touch the top of the flagpole, they will gain an extra life.
In order to finish a level, the Mario Bros. will need to grab the flagpole. In The Lost Levels, Luigi is able to jump over the flagpole and will need to grab it from the other side so that he can finish the level. In New Super Mario Bros., Mega Mario and Mega Luigi can knock over the flagpole before shrinking back to normal size and head into the castle. They will also gain five extra lives for knocking over the flagpole.
They would also appear in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door during the Bowser inter-missions. Bowser can also knock the pole off screen depending on his size. Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga would see a flagpole in front of Little Fungitown that can be slide down in the Beanbean Kingdom. And one can be seen behind the Border Bros.
In the mini-game Crank to Rank in Mario Party 8, there are flagpoles with the Star Carnival emblem. They can be seen in the opening cinematic of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! with Mario, Luigi, Toad, and Princess Toadstool sliding down flagpoles.
Flagpoles would appear in Super Mario 3D Land under the name Goal Poles. They would appear in every level of the game, including castles and airships. This would be different from past games as they would not usually appear in castles or fortresses. When a boss is defeated on a airship or castle, Mario will have to continue walking until he reaches the flagpole to end the level. When he grabs any part of the flagpole, a red flag will appear with Mario's emblem as it replaces the Bowser emblem. If he grabs the top of the flagpole, then he will gain an extra life and the flag will turn gold. These golden flags are required for getting 100% in the game.
Flagpoles appear at the end of every level in New Super Mario Bros. 2 except for fortresses and castles. If the top of the flagpole is touched, it will give the player an extra life. In Coin Rush mode if the player touches the top, then the player will double their coins.