Thursday, November 15, 2012

Out for another run and we came across Abbott Labs in Palatine. We found a United Nations Flag flying along with the American Flag and Custom Flag. You can tell a lot of care and attention went into the original layout by the architect. While some of the parts are in need of replacement, the overall design still hits the mark. Alone each one of these flags would be fitting for the Abbott campus, but together, they look uplifting and spectacular. Why is this display so nice?

The Flagpoles
You could definitely go with a higher grade commercial system, such as an internal cable assembly with crank, but the simplicity of the external double revolving truck system works well here. The architect opted for silver ball ornaments instead of the classic gold. This makes for a very uniform silver appearance. Along with the balls, the architect chose to upgrade to double revolving trucks. With all three together, these flagpoles seem almost entirely custom made.

The flagpole trucks at the top of the flagpoles are "frozen" or no longer rotate as originally designed. You can see in the video how much wind approaches this area and how the frozen trucks add stress to the flags and the halyard. At some point, all flagpole systems break down and need to be repaired. We'd say this is something they should address in the near future.

The Flags
The American Flag, together with the United Nations Flag and Custom Flag put the Abbott name with the US and Global community. In addition, the custom flag design is both a symbol and a letter. The simplicity and "non text" layout of the design lets this flag communicate the brand of Abbott rather than a message Abbott wants to say. For a flag, it is always better to represent your company on your flag instead of trying to incorporate a slogan or saying as you might find in static signage.

The flagpoles were located slightly too close together for the size flags. The flags were relatively new when we arrived, but we could see them fraying up pretty quickly each season based on the fly ends coming into contact with the other flags, flagpoles, but most importantly, the other flagpole parts. Fixing this would either mean flying smaller flags, double sided heavier flags, or moving the flagpoles.

Want to see these flagpoles? Click Here.