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Columbia AC Flag Hoist for World’s Largest American Flag

Columbia AC Flag Hoist for World’s Largest American Flag

Application: Columbia AC flag hoist which is being used to raise the world’s largest American flag in Sheboygan, Wisconsin up the tallest flag pole in the USA. ACUITY, a Midwest property and casualty insurer, commissioned America’s Flags and Poles of Irving, Texas to construct and install the 338 foot tall flagpole. At 7200 total square feet with 4-1/2 feet tall stripes and 3 foot tall stars, this flag is visible from over 20 miles away.
Customer: ACUITY
Location: Sheboygan, Wisconsin
Line Pull: 1,290 pounds
Line Speed: 80 feet per minute
Cable Capacity: 760 feet X 3/16″ wire rope
Power Source: 230 VAC 3 Phase 60 Hz
Special Features: Wall mount variable speed control with keyed switch


Why APPI: Acuity, Inc., of Sheybogan, Wisconsin, is not a company that thinks small.  After a 150 foot tall flag pole at their headquarters building blew down in a windstorm in January of  2005, they turned the calamity into an opportunity to show their respect in a big way.  To that end, they commissioned the design and building of replacement pole that was more than twice as tall as the original and designed to fly a flag of epic proportions.

After evaluating a number of proposals, Acuity awarded a contract to America’s Flag of Beaumont, Texas for a pole that would measure 100 meters to the tip with a flag of 7200 square feet.  According to somebody, the something at Acuity, the decision to go with America’s Flag was based on their experience and expertise with very large poles and flags.

Starting with a foundation pit measuring 22 feet in diameter and 35 feet deep, America’s Flags centered an 8 foot by 30 foot piece of corrugated pipe in the hole, added rebar and poured over 550 yards of concrete to secure the pipe in place.  The first section of flagpole was then placed in the pipe and the gap between it and the pipe was packed with sand.  This design allows the pole move if the ground shifts and also provides access for long-term maintenance.

Then one by one, each section of flagpole was hoisted and welded into place.  The final piece of the 10 sections required two cranes, a 500 ton capacity crane that hoisted the section and a 165 ton crane which supported welders in a man-basket while they joined the flagpole sections together.

Completed, the pole measures 338 feet to the top of the 6 foot diameter gold ball at its tip.  Weighing in at 65 tons the pole is not lightweight, but it can flex up to 15 feet in high winds.

With measurements of 120 by 60 feet, the flag is just as impressive as the pole from which it flies.  With 4 ½ foot high stripes and 3 foot high stars, it weighs a hefty 300 lbs and can be seen from over 20 miles away.

Given the weight of the flag, a manually operated hoist to raise the flag was quickly ruled out as it would take more than 4 times as long as desired to raise the flag.  America’s Flag turned to Allied Power Products, Inc. of Beaverton, OR for their advice on how to best solve this problem.  Bob Peterson, President of APPI, said that the solution, although somewhat technical, was based on one of their stock Columbia brand AC hoists.  By providing a 3 HP flag hoist with a special gear reduction ratio and a programmable variable frequency drive that allows for hoisting speeds of up to 80 feet per minute, America’s flag was able to synchronized the hoisting time of the flag to match the playing time of the Star Spangled Banner.

With six flags being used on a rotating basis, the future is bright for this dramatic display of the red, white and blue to be flying high for many, many years to come.

Please contact us if you would like more information about this particular flag hoist system or any of our other products and services.

Allied Power Products, Inc. has specialized in providing winches, hoists, capstans and cranes to meet our customers’ specific application requirements for more than 30 years.

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