How 353,000 lbs. Of Steel Can Strengthen
A Nation’s Resolve.

The inspiring story behind the building of North America’s biggest flagpole.

A Record Of Perseverance We Can All
Look Up To.

After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Acuity Insurance in Sheboygan, Wisconsin wanted to erect an oversized symbol of freedom. They settled on an 80 ft. flagpole. Gradually they went higher, first up to 150 ft., then up to 199 ft, – a pole that toppled in a 2004 windstorm. So they erected a 338 ft. pole in 2007, then again in 2008. But due to buckling and swaying, they had to dismantle both. Instead of giving up, Acuity resolved to make the tallest flagpole in North America – and engineered it to last for 50 years.

“The goal here is inspiration.”

So Large, It Creates
Its Own
Atmosphere.

No kidding. In fact, it can rain inside this flagpole on a sunny day. But the most important atmosphere the flagpole creates is the one of reverence and awe that surrounds it when citizens, especially veterans, come to visit. And it isn’t just the giant flag and pole. At the flagpole’s base lies a patio made of bricks, each one honoring a Sheboygan County resident killed in active duty.

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Not Just A
Tall Tale

Pole Facts

  • Stands 400 ft. tall, 100 ft. taller than Statue of liberty
  • Made with 353,000 lbs. of steel
  • Foundation is 70 ft. wide by 10 ft. deep
  • Foundation used 680 cu. yds. of concrete
  • Secured with 148 anchor bolts, each 8 ft. long
  • Holds 55 tons (6 miles) of rebar
  • Built to withstand -42 degrees
  • Built to withstand 200 mph winds
  • 3 inner pendulums dampen vibrations from wind
  • Covered with more than 500 gallons of paint
  • Dedicated on June 16, 2014

Flag Facts

  • 7,200 sq. ft. (60 ft. by 120 ft.)
  • 4 stories high
  • Light-wind version weighs 220 lbs.
  • Heavy-wind version weighs 350 lbs.

“This pole is so over-engineered, and so well-built, I don’t think we’re going to have an issue.”

Why North America’s Biggest
Flagpole Is Made With
Steel From A
Mini Mill.

Phil Bischof

A Talk With
Nucor Product
Manager,
Phil Bischof

Which mill was the steel from?

The steel for the Acuity flagpole was proudly manufactured right here at Nucor Steel in Hertford County, North Carolina.

What kind of steel is the pole made of?

High strength low alloy steel plate. Plate is the only kind of steel that we make here at Nucor Steel Hertford County.

Who was your distributor?

Our distributor for this project was Leeco Steel, based in Lisle, Illinois. We do a lot of work with them because they like the type of plate we provide.

And the fabricator?

Broadwind Energy out of Cicero, Illinois. They primarily make wind towers, so this project was right up their alley.

Why do you think Broadwind chose Nucor steel for the flagpole?

We make a high quality plate product that has good surface quality, which lends itself to fabricating these large flagpole sections. It also takes high gloss paint well. Also, they wanted more than 350 tons of plate from one source. We were able to provide that.

Did this project have special significance for Nucor?

It was interesting to see the flagpole go up and to be a part of it. Nucor promotes ‘buy America’ - we always try to buy equipment that is American made. Seeing a company like Acuity promoting America, in the heartland, is very encouraging. It’s something to be proud of.

An Impact That Will Be Felt
For Generations.

The huge flagpole is unquestionably a tourist draw. But a brick paver patio at the pole’s base, featuring the names of Sheboygan County residents killed in active duty, will remind visitors young and old of the sacrifices our flag represents. One visitor, a trumpet player named Jerry Kolb, drove all the way up from Kansas to play taps at the landmark. As Jerry put it, “It’s my way of giving back.”

“We couldn’t have hoped for a better response from the general public.”