Wichita business raises gigantic flag over south side

WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

SATURDAY UPDATE

With a powerful message you can see for miles, Gander RV and Outdoors raised a massive flag Saturday at their grand opening.

First responders, active-duty military members, and veterans helped in the ceremony to raise a 40 by 80 foot flag.

"We lost 14 of our boys out of the Guard here in Wichita, and so I think it's an honor to them and it was an honor for me to be able to do this for them, if nothing else," said Fred Hilbert with the Kansas Honor Flight Army.

After a moment of silence, the crowd cheered as 50 emergency personnel and war heroes raised the flag with families at their side. Kristopher St. Angelo is the store's general manager, and he said he hopes the flag will help show Gander RV's appreciation and support for the country.

"We are big proponents and supporters of our first responders and of course the military, so have made a conscious effort to do everything we can to show our patriotism," St. Angelo said.

It was an honor to carry that flag," Hilbert said. "I really did like, and I'm honored to see all the people out here that have some patriotism."


ORIGINAL STORY:

WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -
A massive American flag will be raised on Saturday afternoon in south Wichita.

Gander RV & Outdoors will host a grand opening event that will include a flag raising ceremony honoring first responders, active-duty military and veterans. 

"We are big proponents and supporters of our first responders and of course of the military, so have made a conscious effort to do everything we can to show our patriotism," said Kristopher St. Angelo, general manager for Gander RV in Wichita.

The American flag will measure 40 feet by 80 feet and cover 3,200 square feet. 


The tradition started in 2014 by Camping World Holdings, which owns Gander Outdoors. 

In a news release, Camping World Holding's Chairman Marcus Lemonis said, "It has been our vision to continue the tradition of raising these flags to show our company's support and appreciation to our country and to those that have sacrificed so much to keep our communities safe."

The flag has been a source of controversy in one community in North Carolina. The city of Statesville sued the company, citing the flag was too big to fly in their community.

There is no such ordinance in Wichita.

"As long as they're flying it properly, power to them. Fly it. The bigger, the better," said Sean Tarbell, president of Davis-Moore Auto Group.

Tabell's car dealerships are known for their giant American flag, which measures at 20 feet by 30 feet.

"It shows we believe in this country and we're proud to be part of it and I'd like to see everybody fly one," said Tarbell.

The flag raising ceremony will involve military veterans, and will include participation from the Kansas Honor Flight and Wichita East High School ROTC.

The ceremony will take place at 3928 South Oak Street, Saturday, 1 p.m.

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