God Joined George Floyd Protests: biggest American flag torn in half by storm
World's largest free-flying American flag torn in half by Wisconsin storm — some view it as a sign
Torrential storms passed through Sheboygan County Tuesday night and left plenty of damage in their wake.
Including some symbolic damage.
The world's largest free-flying American flag, which stands on the property of Acuity Insurance along Interstate 43 in the city of Sheboygan, ripped in half last night.
This symbolic tear comes while America is in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has left more than 100,000 Americans dead, and in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, where a former Minneapolis police officer, who is white, is charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter in the death of Floyd, who is African-American.
Floyd's death has led to demonstrations and protests against racism and police brutality across the U.S. and the world, even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. At least 9,300 people have been arrested across the country from the protests.
The Sheboygan Night Scanner Facebook page posted about the damage to the flag and the uncanny timing was not lost on those commenting about the post.
Many of the comments shared sentiments like "Americas torn" or "Kind of ironic with everything else going on in America at the moment."
One person called it, "a sign that we should read loud and clear."
Another paid attention to the pattern of the rip to offer a bit of hope by pointing out that the blue portion, which represents vigilance, perseverance and justice, remains intact.
An Acuity spokesperson said a wind gauge at the top of the flag pole registered unprecedented 90 mph winds Tuesday night between 9:15 and 9:30 p.m. Within the next hour, facility team members had the flag taken down.
Acuity keeps multiple flags on hand — usually six at a time, the spokeperson said — so a replacement was up before 7:30 a.m. Wednesday.
On average, a flag flies on that pole for 120 to 130 days. The flag that was damaged last night had been flying for 120 days, so it was nearing retirement.
All pieces of the damaged flag have been recovered, according to the spokesperson, and a local VFW has been contacted to schedule a proper retirement ceremony for the flag.
While Acuity typically takes down the flag in preparation for severe weather, the strength of last night's wind came out of nowhere, the spokesperson said, which is why it wasn't taken down.