Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Why should businesses consider flying a local city flag? Let's take a look at Walter E. Smithe.

Vernon Hills Police Department (City of Vernon Hills flag to the right)
Walter E. Smithe has a history which dates back to 1945 when one man saw a shifting need from war time to home. To this day, Walter E. Smithe has remained a family business with locations all over Illinois (the greater Chicago-land area), as well as Indiana. They are not your average furniture dealers, they pride themselves on custom quality made products. So when we saw their flags out front, we were not surprised to see a city flag (city flag shown in the picture above).

Flying a flag in your community means more than just having a flag out front. What flags you fly reflect who you are. To the same right, flying a flag connects with others in the area which, in a way, makes them a flag flyer too. When you fly a flag, you fly for others around you. When you fly a flag, you are saying you belong to what is represented in that flag, good and bad. That is what makes flags so powerful. And a US flag is a dramatic statement in front of a building.

But the American flag is the most common flag flown in the US (rightly so). When you start to fly more than one flag, you start to grow and change the message your company sends. By Walter E. Smithe flying the local city of Vernon Hills flag, they are acknowledging their personal connection and appreciation to the City of Vernon Hills. It is a great way to gain visibility in a strong and meaningful way to the community you belong.

Now let's look at the flag display.  SMITHE in a black/dark bronze sits above the large glass doors in the entrance way. The flagpoles match the color of the SMITHE sign. This brings the flags, which are located on the opposite side of the parking lot to the building. From Milwaukee ave, the because the flagpoles are black/dark bronze, they are connected to the building and appear as a cohesive presentation.

The three flagpole display has a 25 ft. flagpole in the center and two 20 ft. flagpoles on the side. The alternate heights allow the US flag to be flown in the middle. Having three flagpoles also gives enough prominence to let the flagpoles stand out. One flagpole would get lost as they are so far away from the building. As an architect, you have a lot of things to keep in mind when adding flagpole(s) to the drawing. Here are some tips:
  • Use the flagpole finder to narrow your options
  • Place the flagpole in a place of prominence
  • Make sure trees, tall bushes, and other objects do no obstruct or will not obstruct with the desired flag size
  • Anodized flagpoles are recommended
Walter E. Smithe follows these rules and it shows.

Bravo Walter E. Smithe!