Term used in the military or government to describe being near a headquarters. The flagpole is often located near this building. Its not someplace most people want to be since it usually involves political infighting, following all rules to the letter and bureaucratic drudgery.
This can even mean working in a different building some distance away but the common thought is that the closer you physically are, the worse it can be.
I've been goofing off way out here but they're moving me close to the flagpole.