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Celebrating Flag Day at North America's tallest flagpole in Sheboygan

Posted at 6:22 PM, Jun 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-14 19:22:57-04

SHEBOYGAN — It flags your attention from miles away: a landmark for drivers along I-43 in Sheboygan between Milwaukee and Green Bay.

But up close, in a gentle breeze, it's a peaceful view.

"Our legacy of a flagpole really goes back to 9-11," said Sheri Murphy, Vice President of Services and Administration at Acuity. "It's grown and evolved with us as the company has grown."

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June 14 is Flag Day, but at Acuity Insurance in Sheboygan, home to the world's tallest symbol of freedom, every day is Flag Day.

The flagpole you see now was built in 2013 and stands 400-feet tall, 100 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty; a legacy to those who served and died for our freedom, and an inspiration to others.

"We hope that it encourages everybody to really reach for the heights, and be the best that they can do, whatever they choose to do," said Murphy.

The 9,800-square-foot flag weighs 250 pounds. Over time, it will tatter in the gales of Wisconsin.

"I have been mending the Acuity flag for well over 17 years," said seamstress Rhonda Meerdink. "I consider it more of an honor than a job for me to do this."

It's not a simple task to mend a flag that big. It's a 'hem of a project', even in seamstress speak.

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"We use a special thread, two needles and two bobbins," said Meerdink. "We usually make between 16 and 20 passes up and down the flag with both needles, so that would be closer to 18 to 20 stitch lines in the flag."

A flag that brings people together, not just on Flag Day, Memorial Day or the Fourth of July - but every day.

"We always say, 'we're very proud to be the custodians of the flag,'" said Murphy. "We don't feel that we own it because the flag belongs to the community, belongs to our country - belongs, most importantly, to those who have sacrificed for our freedom."

A Veterans Memorial at the base of the flagpole includes the names of Sheboygan County men and women killed in active duty dating back to the Civil War.

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