Horrible, grotesque, and tacky, are words some have used to describe billionaire Mike Fernandez's proposal to build North America's tallest flag pole (but not the world's tallest, which is in Tajikistan) in order to hoist a massive 500 pound American flag somewhere around Downtown Miami's front porch, all as a sign of gratitude to the good ol' U.S. of A., and all out of his own pocket. After all, those billions are not going to spend themselves (the flag would cost $5 to 10 Million).
As outlandish as it may appear to some, the city is willing to explore the idea. After touring potential sites with a city commissioner and the city manager, Fernandez expressed his preference for a site somewhere between the Triple A and Pérez Art Museum Miami, which would place the gargantuan pole somewhere in the middle of the recently inaugurated Museum Park. Even though the idea is just in the exploration stage, the online community's reaction has been predominantly negative; as is the case with so many other outlandish proposals for public land in Miami (the arena, SkyRise Miami, etc.). Considering the ever-so-sensitive factor of tax payer land in the equation, Fernandez should expect stiff resistance. What irks most is not the meaning of Fernandez's patriotic gesture, but rather the sheer size of the damn thing.
The flag is reportedly proposed at 450 feet; as a result, we are not talking about your average Hialeah car dealership flag pole, to stand at this height, the pole itself would have the diameter of a wind turbine and the base would require about a 1000 square feet. The flag itself would probably be big enough to tent a small house for termites. At 450 feet, the flag would be just 34 feet shorter than the Miami Center Skyscraper (the building with the Citi logo) located right next to the Intercontinental Hotel. Given its disproportionate size in relation to the surrounding area, some have suggested other sites that could potentially be a better fit, such as Terminal Island or perhaps the Port, greeting those who arrive to Miami by ship. To get a better idea of Flagpole's size watch this video of the current tallest in the nation, built by an insurance company in Wisconson, and which inspired Fernandez's proposal.—Andy Morales
· Billionaire pitching massive US flag over Downtown Miami [Miami Herald]