After adding 225,000 sq ft of space to its corporate headquarters, Acuity Inc., of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, US resized its flagpole in a bid to, in its own words “demonstrate commitment to displaying old glory in a grand fashion.” To that end, it commissioned the design and construction of a flagpole more than twice as tall as its original to fly a flag of truly epic proportions.

After evaluating a number of proposals, Acuity awarded a contract to America’s Flag for a pole that would reach 338 ft to the tip and display a flag measuring 120 x 60 ft – which, it said, is the largest flying in the country.

This flag weighs 300 pounds and features stars that are four feet tall and stripes that are four and a half feet wide. Given the size and weight of the flag, one of the concerns expressed by Sheri Murphy, vice president services and administration, during the design stage was how to hoist a flag of those proportions.

Although a manually powered hoist would have been capable of lifting the new flag, it would be a physically demanding task that would make the hoisting time four times longer than desired.  The solution was provided by APPI.

Bob Peterson, president of APPI, said it was able to meet Acuity’s performance specifications by equipping one of its stock hoists with a special gear reduction ratio and a programmable variable frequency drive.  This combination of components allowed hoisting speeds of up to 80 ft per minute regardless of wind conditions.

By synchronising the time it takes to raise the flag with the playing time of the Star Spangled Banner, the flag now reaches the top of the pole just as the music ends.

According to Jack Woodland, Acuity’s horticulturist, who maintains the flagpole: “If you did not know better you would think the flag was being raised by a complicated custom system. It is amazing to us that APPI was able to provide an ‘out of the box’ solution for our needs.”