The largest U.S. flag in Utah was hoisted into place atop a 110-foot flagpole Saturday morning to the cheers of about 200 people near an office complex at Ninth East and the Van Winkle Expressway.
The 30-by-60-foot flag was purchased to replace a 30-by-50-foot flag that had been stolen from the pole last month.Salt Lake County Commissioner Dave Watson, who spoke during the short flag-raising ceremony, said he received dozens of calls from people who were outraged when the flag was stolen.
The flagpole and surrounding landscaping were built as a joint venture among Gull Laboratories, Spring Run Executive Offices and Salt Lake County. The flagpole sits on county property, which until recently had been a site for illegal dumping.
Although the original flag eventually was recovered, it was damaged beyond repair. Community members began donating money toward a new flag, said Richard Beckstrand, president of Spring Run.
Nearly $2,000 was raised to purchase the new flag and halyards. A steel pipe was place 30 feet above the lock box to house the lanyards, in hopes of preventing future thefts, said Kelli Jaynes, a spokesperson for Spring Run.
Mike Larsen, a South Salt Lake fireman who works for Colonial Specialties, scaled the flagpole Saturday morning to connect the new cables. Following his descent, Holladay Cub Scout Pack 557 helped lift the nearly 70-pound flag into place. The pack then led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Watson said, "This flag simply makes us very happy, and we're glad it's back again." He said the flagpole shows "government and the private sector can work together to make something very beautiful."
"We dedicate this flag to all those in the county who are inspired . . . who are moved by this flag," said Myron Wentz, president of Gull Laboratories.