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'ol Glory Vs. America Tower


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So, I was talking to some coworkers today, and we got off on the topic of the flag on top of our building. One of the guys that had been there for many many years informed us that the US flag on the top of the building was once MUCH MUCH larger than it is today....he said that, in fact it used to drape over the building and cover up the windows of the 43rd and 42nd floors when the wind wasn't blowing.

As to why we have a smaller flag now...well apparently when the wind was blowing at a good clip and 'ol glory was pulled out taut, it created so much force that it damaged the top 3 stories of the building that the pole mounts down through. The American General CEO flew the huge flag that he wanted, even though the engineers had told him it was a no no.

Personally, I think the flag should be double or triple its current size....the mass of the building makes it look kinda puny.

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"well apparently when the wind was blowing at a good clip and 'ol glory was pulled out taut, it created so much force that it damaged the top 3 stories of the building that the pole mounts down through."

i'm no structural engineer but if a flag blowing around on the roof weakens teh structure of a skyscraper...isn't that in the least bit disturbing?

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i'm no structural engineer but if a flag blowing around on the roof weakens teh structure of a skyscraper...isn't that in the least bit disturbing?

First off, I forgot, in my original post to mention that I have no other substantiating evidence of the story....that's just what my coworker said...I don't doubt it, however.

As to the disturbing nature of it, the building wasn't designed for it, so I'm sure they had to make some compromises in the strength, and number of the mounts, and also think about how much force you'd be exerting at the bottom of the pole with 5-6 stories worth of leverage. You'd also probably design a weak point into the system, so if, say the flag was left out in a hurricane, it wouldn't severely damage the building.....you'd just severely damage, or break the weak point.

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Color me skeptical. If it were true that the flag used to be SO large that it hung down TWO FLOORS below the top of the building (which, incidentally, also seems like it would be a violation of flag etiquette) I am pretty confident SOMEONE on this board would recall seeing such a thing.

Anyone?

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I think he's saying that the pole extended two stories into the top of the building for support. Or at least that's how I read it.

I guess you could have a larger flag if you made it out of mesh so the wind wouldn't get so much force on any side. But maybe that would keep it from fluttering since the larger the flag, the more wind you need to move it.

Amazingly, the FAA doesn't list this flagpole as an aviation hazard even though 63TS, the America Tower heliport, is right there.

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I think he's saying that the pole extended two stories into the top of the building for support.  Or at least that's how I read it.

I guess you could have a larger flag if you made it out of mesh so the wind wouldn't get so much force on any side.  But maybe that would keep it from fluttering since the larger the flag, the more wind you need to move it.

Amazingly, the FAA doesn't list this flagpole as an aviation hazard even though 63TS, the America Tower heliport, is right there.

"in fact it used to drape over the building and cover up the windows of the 43rd and 42nd floors when the wind wasn't blowing."

Nope -- he said the flag draped over the windows.

I think his co-worker was pulling his leg.

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I think he's saying that the pole extended two stories into the top of the building for support.  Or at least that's how I read it.

I guess you could have a larger flag if you made it out of mesh so the wind wouldn't get so much force on any side.  But maybe that would keep it from fluttering since the larger the flag, the more wind you need to move it.

Amazingly, the FAA doesn't list this flagpole as an aviation hazard even though 63TS, the America Tower heliport, is right there.

No no....he read it correctly....he said it draped over 2 stores down. The pole went down 3 stories into the building. (Allegedly)

So we have a heliport? Its on top of the tower??

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Color me skeptical.  If it were true that the flag used to be SO large that it hung down TWO FLOORS below the top of the building (which, incidentally, also seems like it would be a violation of flag etiquette) I am pretty confident SOMEONE on this board would recall seeing such a thing. 

Anyone?

He lies. It's never been that big. And they just put one on their a few years back.

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"well apparently when the wind was blowing at a good clip and 'ol glory was pulled out taut, it created so much force that it damaged the top 3 stories of the building that the pole mounts down through."

i'm no structural engineer but if a flag blowing around on the roof weakens teh structure of a skyscraper...isn't that in the least bit disturbing?

yeah, especially if i worked in that building...

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  • 15 years later...

Its architectural height either officially included the flagpole (so it equals the height to top of building) or did not (so it is equal to the roof height).  

Either way, one of the three heights has been misreported.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ok, answered.

 

2929 Allen Parkway (AIG formerly America Tower)
https://wireless2.fcc.gov/UlsApp/UlsSearch/licenseLocDetail.jsp?pageNumToReturn=1&keyLoc=14681311&licKey=1836847

Terrain elevation 18.0m or 59'

Mast 207.0m or 679'
Mast 208.0m HAAT (height above average terrain in a larger radius than the immediate site's terrain -- makes sense since downtown is about 10' lower at 49'), indicating that the 207.0 meter height is not measured above mean sea level but above the ground onsite here.

Edited by strickn
Sea level clarification
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