CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- An American flag was raised atop the largest flagpole in Virginia Sunday during a celebration that brought thousands to Coxendale Road. The 40' x 76' American flag now flies over Interstate 95 in Chester, outside USA Iron and Metal's headquarters.
At 212 feet, the flagpole is the fifth largest in the entire United States and the largest in Virginia.
The flag is also one of the largest American flags in the nation, according to a company spokesperson. Each of the 50 stars are three feet wide.
Around 3,000 people came to watch as the flag rose above the crowd.
"We came out here to show our support," said biker Brenda Riddell. "Every one of these bikers is flying American flags, and we're here to let you know that we're Americans, and we love living in this country."
Riddell said for her, seeing the flag symbolized unity in a divided time.
"When that flag goes up, everybody has to know that we all should be one. Everybody's differences should be set aside we're very lucky to be living here," Riddell said.
Beyond the crowds who came to see the unveiling Sunday, thousands more will see it on their day-to day commute.
"When you pass this giant flag on I-95, you'll know you're in Chesterfield County and to me that makes it a national landmark," said Chesterfield Chief of Police Jeffrey Katz.
For veteran's like Wayne Popluhar, seeing the flag raised for the very first time was priceless.
"Oh I have tears... It's pretty amazing," Popluhar said.
Monique and Richard Smith bought the property off of a few years ago.
"We picked the location because we realized it would give back to so many people who pass it every day,” said Richard Smith, owner of RJ Smith Companies.
"The flag will be visible for miles along one of the busiest transportation corridors in Virginia located at the intersection of Interstate 95 and Route 288," company spokesperson Rachel Fenton said. "The flag will be flown at all hours with night lighting for evening viewing."
Fenton added that the flag is a show of respect and appreciation to Americans.
"The American flag symbolizes freedom and unity," Fenton added. "It is our way of showing our appreciation to those who put their lives on the line to give us the opportunities we have in this great country we live in."
The event also included children's activities, food vendors and a performance by country music singer Lee Greenwood.