America’s tallest flagpole was erected by the Acuity Insurance Company in 2014. This pole is adorned with an American flag and is almost 100 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty.
The “world’s tallest tribute to freedom,” is a 400-foot tall flagpole waving an American flag that is 7,200 square feet. The pole is about 100 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty, its flag is four stories tall, and it stands in an unlikely location: an insurance company
Ben Salzmann, CEO of the Acuity Insurance Co., has been building giant flagpoles on his company property for years, and they keep falling down. This current 400-foot-tall mega-pole was dedicated on June 16, 2014.
“The number one reason was to sincerely thank veterans. The number two reason was to be a source of inspiration,” Ben Salzmann said. Salzmann wanted the flag to comfort and inspire those that had served, as well as serve as a challenge for the country “to remain a key player in making this world better. So the inspiration is retrospective and prospective,” remembering “how fortunate we are and the obligations we have”.
The flag was dedicated June 16, 2014, in a ceremony that included Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a Legion Rifle Volley team, Navy SEALs and a full honor guard. Former American Idol finalist Danny Gokey sang the national anthem as the flag was raised.
The 400-foot-tall flagpole weighs approximately 420,000 pounds. It flies two versions of a 60 x 120-foot American flag, one weighing 220 pounds during nice weather, another weighing 350 pounds during harsh weather. The stars measure 3.5 feet. Each stripe is more than 4 feet wide. The pole itself, weighing in at 420,000 pounds, required 500 gallons of paint. The foundation holds about 55 tons of rebar. Three pendulums ensure it can take vibrations while working as dampeners, and it can withstand the severe northern temperatures — prepared to deal with cold as low as -42 degrees. A 220-pound flag flies during normal weather; a 350-pound one for harsh conditions. Old Glory even has her own seamstress. The flag takes at least six to eight people to raise and lower it.
These heights were reached after considerable difficulty. This engineering-feat was the product of three failed flag projects: The first, due to torque, was taken out by the wind. The second pole corroded, not for lack of care but because of the state’s extreme temperatures the pole has its own climate inside. The third was a victim of harmonic motion — essentially the problem was how to attach something so large to the ground but account for vibration. The original went up after 9/11, as a symbol to aspire to.
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