The Acuity flag, billed as the largest free-flying American flag in the world, ripped dramatically in the midst of thunderstorms in Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin on June 2, and some people thought the image was symbolic of unrest in the country. One Twitter user called the torn flag “a metaphor for our times.”
According to WTMJ-TV in Milwaukee, “The iconic Acuity Insurance flag in Sheboygan – the largest free-flying American flag in the country – has been torn in half after tonight’s storms.” The station shared this photo:
See video of the ripped flag flying here:
Here’s another video showing the ripped flag. It shows the lightning storm in the background:
According to WISN-TV, which shared the above video, “WIND RIPPED FLAG: Video from viewer Victor Montes shows the Acuity flag in Sheboygan torn in half. Chief Meteorologist Mark Baden said a gust of 66 mph was recorded there during storms Tuesday night.”
Acuity Insurance gives these factoids on the flag:
The flagpole is nearly 100 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty
70- by 140-foot flag is the world’s largest free-flying American flag
Each stripe is over 5 feet high and each star nearly 3 feet across
9,800-square-foot flag weighs 340 pounds
At 400 feet, the flagpole is the tallest in the world flying a U.S. flag
Flagpole weighs approximately 420,000 pounds
Flagpole is designed to withstand a low temperature of -42 degrees and wind speeds up to 120 miles per hour
Three pendulum-style tuned mass dampers reduce movement and vibration
“We proudly fly this flag because we are blessed to live and work in the United States of America,” Acuity’s Ben Salzmann, President and CEO, says in a quote on the company’s website.
Here’s what you need to know:
Some People Saw the Ripped Flag as a Message
According to Patch, the flag, which flies in Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin, flies on top of “a 400-foot-tall flagpole at the Acuity Insurance headquarters.” Acuity explains, “Visible from a considerable distance, the flagpole is located on the company’s headquarters campus along Interstate 43 between Milwaukee and Green Bay on Lake Michigan.”
“A Veterans Memorial featuring the names of Sheboygan County residents killed in active duty is installed at the flagpole’s base,” Acuity adds.
Even though the wind ripped the flag, people saw parallels to what is going on throughout the country in the wake of the death of George Floyd. Opined one man on Twitter:
The tallest and largest Flag in the United States called the ‘Acuity Flag’ in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.
Knows as ‘The World’s tallest symbol of Freedom’
Ripped in half Tuesday night.
Split, divided, ripped up
JUST like our nation right now
Mother Nature speaks in mysterious ways
A woman shared a photo of the flag and wrote, “sheboygan said black lives matter !!!”
In 2014, then-Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker shared photos of the intact flag and wrote, “Perfect day for dedication of the largest flagpole carrying an American flag at Acuity in Sheboygan.”
The protests and riots have gripped the nation since the death of Floyd, who was restrained by a the Minneapolis police officer with a knee to his neck. The viral video recorded by a citizen sparked outrage throughout the United States. The police officer, Derek Chauvin, has been criminally charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. Chauvin and three other officers present at the scene were fired from their jobs.
The Acuity Insurance website says of the flag, “The flagpole and memorial can be visited at any time. The flag may be taken down temporarily during times of maintenance or severe weather. It will also be lowered to half-staff during official observances.”
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