Columbia AC Flag Hoist for World’s Largest American Flag

Columbia AC Flag Hoist

Application: Columbia AC flag hoist is raising the world’s largest American Flag in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, up the tallest flagpole in the USA. A Midwest property and casualty insurer, ACUITY 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 Sheboygan, 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. They commissioned the design and building of a replacement pole that was more than twice as tall as the original and designed to fly a flag of epic proportions.

After evaluating many proposals, Acuity awarded a contract to America’s Flag of Beaumont, Texas, for a pole that would measure over 100 meters (or 338 feet) to the tip with a flag of 7200 square feet. America’s Flag won the contract 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. They then poured over 550 yards of concrete to secure this foundation. Next, the first section of the flagpole was placed in the pipe, and the gap between it and the pipe was packed with sand. This design allows the pole to move if the ground shifts and provides access for long-term maintenance.

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

With the pole completed, the total measured 338 feet to the top of the 6 foot diameter gold ball at its tip. This flagpole is not lightweight, weighing 65 tons, and with the ability to flex up to 15 feet in high winds.

With 120 by 60 feet measurements, 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 four times as long as desired to raise the Flag. So, America’s Flags turned to Allied Power Products, Inc. of Beaverton, OR for their advice on best solving this problem. Bob Peterson, President of APPI, said that although somewhat technical, the solution was based on one of their stock Columbia brand AC hoists. By providing a 3 HP flag hoist with a custom 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 synchronize 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 – flying high for 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.

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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