PHOTO: Macy’s in Chicago Hangs World’s Largest American Flag in Incredible Annual Show of Patriotism

by Matthew Wilson

They say the best gifts come in small packages. But a Macy’s store in Chicago didn’t get that memo, unfurling the world’s largest American Flag. The display will have people everywhere holding their hands over their chest and singing red, white, and blue.

The giant flag is a part of the department store’s annual display. But never has Macy’s patriotism been so large and hard to fold. The Chicago-based store went all out on its display and broke a record in the process. Chicago has the largest symbol of American freedom on not only the East Coast but across the world.

So how big is the flag exactly? Well, the flag when properly displayed covers an area of 5,000-square-feet. That’s quite a bit of coverage. It also weighs a whopping 900 pounds as well. The current flag is a replica of the original one. The store retired the original flag back in 1941. But the tradition stopped after several years when a replica disappeared.

The flag display dates all the way back to 1916. Back then, the store was called Marshall Field & Company. In 2003, Marshall Field reintroduced the annual tradition with its massive flag. Just three years later, Macy’s bought out the department store.

Macy’s Keeps American Flag Tradition Going

But the giant corporation decided to keep the tradition going. They realized it played a significant tradition not only in Chicago but across the world. In fact, they even decided to improve on the tradition as well. For instance, in 2009, Macy’s created an artificial swaying in the wind. They accomplished this by installing a truss that mimics a flutter as if the flag was flapping on a nice breezy day.

Fortunately, viewers will have time to see the flag in all of its glory. Macy’s plans to keep the flag on display until Labor Day on Sept. 6. The original Stars and Stripes dates all the way back to June 14, 1777, when the United States adopted it.

Over the next 200 plus years, the flag has gone through different iterations. For instance, the original flag only had 13 stars and stripes. America’s added to the flag as its added states to the country over the years. But never has the American flag been seen so gigantic. Francis Scott Key would have been impressed.

With Flag Day around the corner on June 14th and July 4th coming up, the display makes the perfect time to embrace a little patriotism.