The Largest Free-flying American Flag in the Country Has Been Torn to Shreds

The largest free-flying American flag in the U.S. has been torn apart by storms and wind. The flag, known as the Acuity Flag, is located at the top of a 400-foot flagpole at the Acuity Insurance headquarters in Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin.

The flag is nearly 10,000 square feet and weighs around 340 pounds, featuring three feet wide stars and stripes that are five feet high. But as thunderstorms hit the state on June 2, leaving thousands without power, the flag was torn into shreds.

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.

📷: Avdil Luma

— TMJ4 News (@tmj4) June 3, 2020

Although the flag was torn apart, it will soon be replaced. Acuity Insurance said on Twitter: "We are aware of the damage to the U.S. flag on our property caused by the severe storms this evening. The damaged flag has been taken down and we will continue to take precautions to prevent flag damage in the future.

"We have flags to replace damaged ones as needed. We are very proud to host the largest symbol of freedom, as well as a veterans memorial."

At the base of the flag is a veterans memorial featuring the names of Sheboygan County residents killed in active duty. Ben Salzmann, President and CEO of Acuity, is quoted on the insurance company's website as saying: "We proudly fly this flag because we are blessed to live and work in the United States of America."

American Flag
The American national flag, the 'Stars and Stripes',flying from a flagpole in the harbor at Key Largo in the Florida Keys, United States, 1993. The largest American Flag in the U.S. (not pictured) has been torn to shreds by a thunderstorm. Bryn Colton/Getty

Despite the effects of the winds last night, Wisconsin's weather was considered when building the flagpole. The 11 feet diameter base of the pole tapers to 5 feet 6 inches in diameter at the top, and is made with 680 cubic yards of concrete in the foundation, all covered with 500 gallons of paint.

A team of experts had to ensure that not only could the pole support a 70-by-140-foot flag but that it could withstand Wisconsin weather, which often drops to below zero.

Storms hit Wisconsin late on Tuesday night with the National Weather Service issuing a severe thunderstorm watch until midnight in Brown, Calumet, Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Fond du Lac, Green, Green Lake, Iowa, Jefferson, Kenosha, Kewaunee, Lafayette, Manitowoc, Marquette, Milwaukee, Outagamie, Ozaukee, Portage, Racine, Rock, Sauk, Sheboygan, Walworth, Washington, Waukesha, Waupaca, Waushara, Winnebago and Wood counties.

Around 31,000 Wisconsin homes were without power as thunderstorms, wind, and hail hit the central, northeastern, and southern parts of the state, damaging trees and power lines. There are currently flood warnings in place until June 5 in Outagamie, Shawano, Waupaca, and Winnebago counties.