World's Largest Flag Taken Down
BAKU -- An Azerbaijani flag recognized as the largest mounted flag in the world had to be quickly taken down on February 2 after the pole it was flying from began to sag precariously, RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service reports.
Residents of a nine-storey building near the 162-meter-high flagpole were evacuated because of fears the 220-ton pole could topple.
An RFE/RL correspondent reported ambulances and Emergency Ministry workers being sent to the square, though the flagpole seemed to be only slightly bent.
One resident told RFE/RL that officials warned her family that there were problems with the pole and nearby residents were told to leave their apartments.
When some residents later tried to return home they found their doors had been sealed shut.
The flag was first taken down in September, a day after it was initially raised, after it was damaged by strong winds. Officials told journalists the fabric was not strong enough, and several new flags were ordered.
The construction of the flag, the flagpoles, and the 60-hectare square where it flies began in 2007. The whole project reportedly cost approximately $24 million.
The flag itself is 35 meters wide and 70 meters long. It was certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's largest flag on May 29, 2010.
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