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FLAG DAY SALUTE: Here’s story behind Wayne Co. Belle Tire’s huge flag

 FLAG DAY SALUTE: Here’s story behind Wayne Co. Belle Tire’s huge flag

The American flag that flies near the Ford Road Belle Tire in Canton is one of the area’s largest.

A prominent Canton Township landmark 365 days a year, the massive American flag that proudly flaps in the breeze near the Ford Road Belle Tire store is especially noteworthy every June 14 — Flag Day, a national holiday established by an Act of Congress on Aug. 3, 1949.

The 600-square-foot flags became mainstays at Belle Tire locations across the country during the 1991 Gulf War.

“We thought it was important to show our patriotism,” said Jeff Kruse, vice president of Belle Tire. “We think it’s still important to continue to show it.”

Most of the 20-by-30 foot flags fly on 60-foot poles and are replaced every two months, he said.

Warren, Michigan-based Rocket Enterprise Inc. maintains and replaces the flags.

Flag can withstand strong winds

A 900-square-foot flag is raised in downtown New Baltimore in 2016.
A 900 square foot flag is raised in downtown New Baltimore in 2016

Belle Tire leases the flags for $1,500 per year, which covers the cost of repair and replacements, said a representative for Rocket Enterprise.

The flag and pole can withstand winds up to 90 miles per hour, she added.

Belle Tire has large flags in front of 76 locations in the Midwest, according to Kruse.

“We get thousands of comments annually from customers and people who drive by and see the flags,” he added. “They say they appreciate it.”

The tire company displays the largest American flag in Michigan at its Great Lakes Crossing location, Kruse said, where a 40-by-60 foot flag flies on a 120-foot pole.

“It’s big enough to put over the average American home,” he said.

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Ed Wright

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