No, Miami Does Not Need a 400-Foot American Flag Downtown

Apparently the hot new trend in Miami is billionaires wanting to erect giant things in downtown just for the heck of it. Of course, there's developer Jeff Berkowitz's 'R'-shaped Skyrise observational tower that will go before voters later this month.

Now there's Coral Gables healthcare billionaire Mike Fernandez's idea to put a giant, 400 foot tall American flag downtown.

According to the Miami Herald, Fernandez got the idea after insurance company Acuity built a 400-foot flagpole, the world's tallest, in Wisconsin earlier this year. It actually replaced an earlier flagpole that had toppled over due to high winds.

Fernandez's idea: he wants to do that in downtown Miami ... but just a little bit bigger.

"I started to chat with my wife and I said it would be a wonderful idea as a sign of gratitude for many of us who weren't born in this country to do it in Miami," Fernandez, a GOP donor and former chief fundraiser for Rick Scott, told the paper. "Except maybe we can do it a little bigger in Miami."

To criticize the idea is to risk coming off unpatriotic. Who doesn't love the American flag? Betsy Ross did a really bang-up job on that design, truly.

Yet, when we think of giant American flags, we don't think so much American pride, but, well, car dealerships.

Not to mention the fact that Acuity's attempt to build their giant flag has resulted in numerous problems. The flagpole once toppled, and has had to be rebuilt numerous times, and that one is sitting in Wisconsin. Not right off Biscayne Bay in a particularly hurricane-prone area.

Besides, Miami already has a landmark representing Cuba's immigration and contribution to Miami: the Freedom Tower.

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Kyle Munzenrieder

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