World’s Tallest Flagpole Would Have Supported Football Field-Sized Old Glory, But There’s Been a Big Shakeup

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The family behind an audacious plan to build the world’s tallest flagpole as the centerpiece of a billion-dollar development honoring veterans in rural Down East Maine is abandoning the idea, an attorney said Friday.

The Worcester family won’t pursue the flagpole project in Washington County or elsewhere for the time being and will look instead for other ways to commemorate those who have served, lawyer Timothy Pease said.

“They believed this project was a good project to honor veterans. But now they’re looking for new ways to honor veterans in the future,” Pease said.

The proposal unveiled two years ago has divided the town of Columbia Falls, population 485, and residents are preparing to vote next month on proposed zoning ordinances governing large-scale development. A flagpole stretching 1,461 feet skyward wouldn’t 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,” Greene said Friday evening after learning of the developers’ decision, which was first reported by the Maine Monitor.

The towering pole would’ve 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.

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