Maine Community Takes Sides In Debate Over Flag Project

In recent years, almost any display of the American flag is deemed offensive or even threatening by some people who see it not as a symbol of freedom but as one of oppression.

But even some people who might otherwise support the stars and stripes believe that a proposed project in rural Maine is the wrong way to fly the flag.

The idea for “Flagpole of Freedom Park” includes, among other things, a blueprint for the tallest flagpole in the world. As part of the plan, a huge flag would fly from atop the 1,461-foot structure, making the pole about seven feet taller than the Empire State Building.

As proposed, the park would also include an auditorium that could seat 4,000 people, a monument featuring the names of the roughly 24 million soldiers who have died fighting for America since the Revolutionary War, and other features including on-site restaurants.

Flagpole of Freedom Park is the brainchild of Morrill Worcester, who previously founded Worcester Wreath, a company that regularly donates wreaths to Arlington National Cemetery.

While many locals believe he is motivated by good intentions, those who live closest to the planned location of the park are largely opposed to the massive project.

Columbia Falls is a small town of less than 500 residents, and it happens to be the closest community to the planned park.

With the scope of the project spanning 10,000 acres and requiring an estimated 10 years to complete, many locals are concerned about the toll it would take on the natural elements for which their neck of the woods is known.

“It’s like putting the Eiffel Tower in the Maine wilderness,” one such resident complained.

Some of the environment that would essentially be destroyed in order to make room for the project and associated parking structures include the habitat of various animal species as well as a host of evergreen trees, wild blueberries, and other forms of indigenous vegetation.

Marie Emerson, whose husband is a blueberry farmer in the area, described the area around Columbia Falls as “the last wilderness on the East Coast.”

In the end, however, the concerns of locals might not be enough to stop progress if the plans are ultimately approved. The area on which the park would be built is under state control.