In an attempt to secure flags and tassels to weapons BUT also be able to change the color of the flag or, more rarely, the length or color of the tassel, we first experimented with rubber bands. We never seemed to locate ones that fit tightly, did not break, lasted through sunlight (ultraviolet) and lots of sudden changes in direction during practice or even looked good.
The next tactic was to use increasingly fancy twist ties. The shiny silver ones usually looked the best but on many weapons it was hard to keep the twist ties from eventually (or immediately) sliding down a smooth handle.
Having more than our share of computers and their cables all over the place we were naturally drawn to the large stock of colorful cable ties already on hand.
We experimented with four inch long ties in order to avoid waste or long tails associated with six or eight inch ties.