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WORLD’S TALLEST: Acuity dedicates 400-foot symbol of freedom

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SHEBOYGAN CO. (WITI) -- Acuity dedicated on Monday, June 16th what its officials say is the world's tallest symbol of freedom -- a 400-foot flagpole that's flying an American flag measuring 60 feet high by 120 feet long.

The flagpole is one of the most visible landmarks on the Interstate 43 corridor, and the flag is being raised as a symbol of gratitude to our country and those who defend it.

At the base of the pole is a Veterans Memorial, which features the names of every Sheboygan County veteran killed in the line of duty.

Gov. Scott Walker served as keynote speaker at the dedication -- and former American Idol finalist and Wisconsin native Danny Gokey performed the national anthem.

"It's pretty special to have the largest flagpole in the world that flies the American flag," Gov. Walker said.

"To celebrate it and take a moment to honor, value, and respect the people who gave their lives -- because this just didn't happen overnight," Danny Gokey said.

This is the company's fourth attempt to build the country's tallest flagpole.

The first was built in 2003, and was 150 feet tall. It was then expanded to 200 feet, but topped in a winter storm. The next pole was 300 feet -- and it was replaced by a 338-foot pole. In April of 2008, it was seen swaying in the wind.

Six years later, the 400-foot pole was built to last.

It is set in 680 cubic yards of concrete, and has pendulum implements to reduce movement in the wind.

"This is obviously a testimony to the fact that you can bend us, but we are not permanently broken.  It's a great testimony to not only Acuity's commitment, but to the state and to the country that supports our freedoms. Supports, particularly, our veterans," Gov. Walker said.

Acuity's President and CEO Ben Salzman says the flagpole stands as a monument to the country's never-say-die attitude.

"Pure dedication to bringing something inspiring to our community, to our state, and to our nation," Salzman said.

View a time-lapse video that illustrates the construction of the massive flagpole just below.

Flag facts for your consumption:

  • 400-foot flagpole weighs approximately 420,000 pounds
  • There are two versions of the 60-by-120-foot flag:
  • 220-pound flag is flown during normal conditions
  • 350-pound flag is flown during harsher weather
  • Each star is 3 feet high and each stripe is 4 1/2 feet wide
  • 680 cubic yards of concrete used in foundation
  • Over 500 gallons of paint cover the pole
  • 11-foot diameter at base tapers to 5 1/2-foot diameter at top
  • Three pendulum-style tuned mass dampers reduce movement and vibration
  • Designed to withstand a low temperature of -42 degrees Fahrenheit

CLICK HERE to read more about the Acuity flagpole.

Acuity is headquartered in Sheboygan. It is a property and casualty insurer that operates in 22 states, generates over $1 billion in revenue through 1,000 independent agencies, and manages over $3 billion in assets.

9 comments

  • two pack

    The Governor indicates the it is a great honor to fly the largest flag in the nation and I get “for which it stands” I thank all the vets who have served, fought, and died for my freedom. I am amongst you and now enjoy my freedom. The CEO of Acuity Ben Salzman has a billion of our policy holders dollars and decided to use some them to showboat. That said I understand Freedom is not Free (insert country song here) and I salute all you vets that served for my freedom. Remember? I am an alumni as well. Mr. Salzman, if you wanted to honor those vets that served, fought and died so you can sit in your billion dollar estate along the highway and collect peoples premiums, (have you seen the Acuity estate?) then I would have rather seen my portion of those dollars go to the wounded warrior project or finance an MIA recovery operation. In fact, I just received a letter from Acuity that informs me that my Acuity policy that I have had for years, and never made a claim against, is going to cost me more than ever to renew this year. Guess what Acuity? Don’t waste the paper or your time sending me my renewal notice this year. Put the money you saved toward another overpriced project. Why not $200 toilet seats Ben?

  • Telcom Charlie

    Rich guys and their money. Take a good look. Meanwhile, I have to try to figure out how to pay next months insurance bill.

    • Pamela Vertanen

      They never claimed that it was the “tallest flagpole” – but that it is the “tallest symbol of freedom” and that is what the American flag is – a symbol of freedom!!!!! If you don’t like it I suggest that you don’t look at it, and if you don’t appreciate and value the freedom this country affords to those who live here then go live somewhere else. But then it is that very freedom, paid for with the blood of those who have fought and died to defend our freedom, that gives you the freedom to make ignorant and derogatory comments about said symbol of freedom. It seems to me that you are the one who is arrogant. Personally, as a veteran of the USAF, I feel great pride and my heart soars with the Eagles every time I drive past and see Old Glory waving freely over this great land of ours.

      • Realist Writer

        Walker clearly stated it was the largest flagpole in the world.

        As to the “Tallest Symbol of Freedom”, that’s obviously someone’s version of fuzzy math. Pure subjective rhetoric. Someone is spinning and backpedaling hard here, rather than acting like a rational, mature adult.

    • Dylan Gilbertson

      I agree. Every time I pass the flag( I go to school right next to it) I always cringe at the American ignorance. Symbol of freedom sickens me. They just try to church it up. It should just say country’s tallest flag.

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