Wednesday, July 04, 2007

O'er The Land Of The Free...

I've decided to salute this great nation on its Independence Day with the biggest symbol of freedom I could find. And I bet you can't find one any bigger. (flagpole-wise, that is.)

All it took was a quick jaunt down the Interstate, because the photo you see is the tallest free-standing flagpole in the whole entire country, with a big mother of an Old Glory fluttering atop it. (amateur photograph taken by this blog's owner. if I would have had a ladder, or perhaps a helicopter, I could have gotten a more exciting angle.)

Those of you who live in this area, or throughout the state of Wisconsin, have no doubt seen this flag rippling in the breeze as you've driven on I-43 past Sheboygan. And those of you who've visited this blog in the past from Poland or Belgium or Mexico or Egypt or China or Taiwan or Turkey (aren't stat counters great?) or Singapore or Uruguay or the United Kingdom or Spain...I'm sorry you accidentally clicked on the wrong link, but thanks for spending a brief zero minutes at Ton-Fifty-ONE.

The flag and its pole were erected in 2005 by an insurance company called Acuity, after another flag it had displayed was toppled by high winds and a design flaw. When discussion began about replacing it, the talks grew big. Very big.

The flagpole is 338 feet tall...the tallest in the nation, and more than twice as tall as the previous pole at 150 feet. It is 6 feet wide at the base and weighs 65 tons, and is sunk into a 550-ton block of concrete that is 40 feet deep, 8 feet wide and reinforced by steel rods.

The flag is 7,200 square feet, or 120-by-60, which is four times the size of the original flag. Each star is 4 feet high, and each stripe is 4 1/2 feet wide. The flag weighs 300 pounds.

More info about the flag can be found here, and here.

It's awe-inspiring every time I drive past it, because it seems as though you could drive five miles in the time it takes for one slow, lazy ripple to make its way from the end that's tethered to the pole, across its vast canvas and off the edge of the stripes on the far end.

And while I shouldn't promote unsafe driving habits here, I will admit to gazing up through my moonroof at night as I drive past, the flag illuminated by a circle of kabillion-candlepower spotlights aimed at it from the ground.

Ya done good, Acuity.

Happy Fourth of July, everyone.

"It is very easy in the world
to live by the opinion of the world.
It is very easy in solitude to be
self-centered. But the finished man is
he who in the midst of the crowd
keeps with perfect sweetness
the independence of solitude."
—Ralph Waldo Emerson


  1. Just passed this grand ole' mega-flag coming back from our friend's house in Manitowoc about four hours ago.

    Oddly enough, it crossed my mind tonight, as my family slept throughout the minivan and I was blarin' some old Woody Guthrie tune, wondering if this is one of the biggest flags in the state?

    Thanks and happy 4th!

    (of course the other item that passes my mind as I speed by the Acuity building is, "I wonder if they need and out of work I.T. guy for their network... that looks like a great company to work for!")

  2. Shame on me for nagging about a lack of posts last week. Next time you stop by to admire the flag - come on in and join me for lunch!

  3. I know that flag quite well. I've always thought it was the hugest I'd ever seen. Now you've confirmed it.

    Incidentally, I am very familiar with Acuity Insurance. In fact, they are probably my law firm's largest client. I literally deal with Acuity matters every single day. They are in fact a very CLASSY company. If you ever visit them, say hi to Ann and Erin for me.

  4. Hey Gerbs...

    I don't think I even knew for sure that you worked there. I just knew that you worked in the area.

    When I heard you say something on Sunday about Acuity, I was gonna mention my blog post, but I thought I'd let you find it on your own instead.

    Now I suppose it'd be a good idea to get another one up soon, or else you're gonna rescind that lunch invitation, aren't you?

    I'm. So. Lazy.

  5. You're not lazy, why just last weekend i saw you drinking in two houses, two cabins, a back yard, beach front, dock, pontoon boat & while playing boche' ball...that's a lot of moving around to simply drink beer!!!

    But in regards to another blog post...I imagine something along the lines of a minor league baseball experience would be good writing...I'm not saying, I'm just saying...ha, ha, ha...

    Oh by the way you two (Gerbs & Vach), i was watching Discovery the other day and I saw Jeber drink his own urine to stay hydrated, climb a 100 ft tree to get his direction and kill a jack rabbit with a throwing club he carved out of a tree limb...on a rock!!! Maybe it was Bear Grylls, but I can't tell him and Jeber apart, they're both so "non-rainbow"

  6. The only reason I move around that much to get beer, TheKid, is because as hard as I've tried to get you youngsters to bring it directly to me and deposit it in my hand, you haven't learned to respect your elders that well. Yet.

    So therefore, I have to go and fetch it myself. And there's beer everywhere up there!

    (one minor-league baseball blog post, in the on-deck circle, waiting to be written. provided something exciting happens, and I'm able to put into words how goooood Rattler Brau is.)