A US family’s audacious plan to build the world’s tallest flagpole as a centrepiece for a billion-dollar project honouring veterans has been abandoned.
The Worcester family will not pursue the flagpole project in Washington County, Maine, or elsewhere for the time being and will look instead for other ways to commemorate those who have served, said lawyer Timothy Pease.
“They believed this project was a good project to honour veterans. But now they’re looking for new ways to honour veterans in the future,” Mr Pease said.
The proposal unveiled two years ago has divided the town of Columbia Falls, with a population 485, and residents are preparing to vote next month on proposed regulations governing large-scale developments.
A flagpole stretching 1,461 feet skywards would not meet the height restrictions contained in the proposal, which came out of several public sessions after residents voted to put the brakes on the project, said Jeff Greene, a member of the Board of Selectmen.
“We didn’t create ordinances to take down the flagpole project. We created ordinances to give the community control of their community,” Mr Greene said after learning of the developers’ decision, which was first reported by the Maine Monitor.
The towering pole would have been taller than the Empire State Building, topped with an American flag bigger than a football field and visible on a clear day from miles away.
But the original proposal called for much more than just that. The developers envisioned a village with living history museums, a 4,000-seat auditorium, restaurants and a sprawling monument with the names of every veteran who has died since the American Revolution — about 24 million in all.
The plan also called for lifts to bring people to observation decks from where they would be able to see all the way to Canada.
“It’s like putting the Eiffel Tower in the Maine wilderness,” a resident once said.
The Worcester family — which is behind Worcester Wreath Co and Wreaths Across America, which provide hundreds of thousands of wreaths to military cemeteries and grave sites around the world — touted the project as away to unite people and honour veterans.
The project also would have brought much-needed jobs to a region that is long on natural beauty and short on economic development, they said.
Mr Pease said the Worcesters remain committed to the original aims behind the project: “The family is absolutely devoted to honouring veterans, and they’ll find ways to do that in the future.”