No. The point of a flail is to hit people with the flail bit, not the shaft. So you're swinging from vertical to almost horizontal at shoulder height or a bit above, and the flail portion continues the motion after the shaft stops, swinging down into your opponents' heads and arms.You are forgetting conservation of angular momentum.
You swing down the wooden shaft, hitting the guys in front of you with the wooden shaft.
Conservation of angular momentum is the point.
Footman's flails generally only have a short chain or joint, and the flail portion only comes down about a third of the shaft. They're not designed for a comedy routine.The chain hit's the enemies, caries on going, and hit's your front row allies in the balls. You then pull it back to vertical, the chain carries on swinging, causing the wooden shaft to jerk backwards, hitting the guy behind you in the face.
I find that unlikely. A flail has less effective reach and momentum transfer than just a stick of equivalent length without the joint.What these weapons where actually used for (when they were used at all, which was rarely) was to whack knights off horses.