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.