Flagpole Facts

This new flagpole is a recreation of the original one which stood near here when Plant Park was the 19th century pleasure grounds of the Tampa Bay Hotel. We have photos of the flagpole existing alongside the Casino Building, which was a center of Tampa society and war time events for soldiers, until the Casino burned just after World War Two.

The original pole is shown in a number of photographs of the Hotel. These photos were used to determine the original pole’s height of approximately 112′. This pole is 112′ high.

The old flagpole

The current world record holding flagpole is in Ashbagad, Turkmenistan and is 436′ tall with a flag that is 19,773 square feet.

The typical flagpole in a school yard is likely to be 30′ tall. The current record holder in the United States is located in Sheboygan, Wisconsin and is 400′ tall. The Statue of Liberty is 305′ tall. The Washington Monument is 555′ tall.

The flag on this pole has 45 stars not 50. When the Hotel was built in 1892 the United States had just admitted Wyoming as a state and the flag had 44 stars. In 1896 Utah was admitted so the flag during those 12 years had 45 stars. So this 45 star version of the flag was likely being used right up to and during the Spanish American War which ended with the December 10, 1898 Treaty of Paris.

The American Flag Day Association celebrated their first Flag Day in 1894 with 300,000 children gathering in the parks of Chicago. President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed June 14 as Flag Day although it wasn’t until August 3, 1949 that President Truman signed the Act of Congress designating June 14 of each year as National Flag Day.

Flag protocol is described in a report to congress by the Congressional Research Service most recently updated in April of 2008. This is the document being used to guide the operation of this flag and flagpole.

The new flagpole

Flagpole finial design, the very top of the flag pole, is determined by the various locations and settings which might be unique to a particular flagpole. There is no law or regulation which restricts the use of a finial on the flag staff.

The finial on this flagpole is modeled after one that appears in a historic photograph of the park. Although many associate the crescent as a Moorish or Islamic symbol it was used throughout history along with various stars and other astronomical symbols. The architectural style of the Tampa Bay Hotel
is influenced by the Spanish/Moorish architecture which was becoming popular at the time. Moorish architecture became a major influence on Florida’s domestic and institutional architecture.