June 14th is Flag Day in America, proclaimed by President Woodrow Wilson in the early days of the twentieth century. It’s a day for all Americans to show their patriotism by flying the flag.
While there may be dispute over who has the largest free-flying American Flag in the United States, an Ohio veteran’s organization has a pretty good claim.
The VFW in Norwalk, Ohio wanted to make a real splash during the bi-centennial year of 1976. They wanted to create the largest flag in America. What they succeeded in doing was create a flag so big that it can only be flown on very calm, sunny days.
For example members of the VFW that were raising the flag the day we visited told stories of other days when they were raising or lowering the giant flag and a crew of 15 to 20 men were trying to assist. “A sudden gust of wind hit the flag while I was holding on real tight” one man told me, “and the next thing I knew I was flying 20 feet off the ground with the flag!!” His team-members seeing his distress quickly lowered the flag to bring him gently back to earth.
The flag, which they claim is the largest to ever fly from a mast, is 46 feet wide and 77 feet long. When folded it weighs over 120 pounds and was hauled to the flagpole in a special trailer, pulled by a small tractor.
The stars are each two feet across and each stripe is 4 feet wide.
The specially built tower is 150 feet high and has a base buried 22 feet in concrete and when the flag flies at half-mast it almost touches the ground. To really visualize just how big this flag is notice in the picture the standard-sized flag American Flag flying above the “super-flag.”
The flag is flown, weather permitting, on Flag Day, Veteran’s Day, Fourth of July and other special occasions.
The flag is located near a baseball diamond behind the VFW Post at 140 Milan Avenue (Route 250), Norwalk, Ohio. The post phone is 419-668-2335.