The giant flagpole, with a Saudi flag fluttering from it in Jeddah, has been recognized as a world record by the Guinness Book of Records.
Jeddah Gov. Prince Mishaal bin Majed presided over the unfurling of the national flag on the country’s 84th National Day. The 171.4-meter pole carrying the 1,635-square-meter flag is in the middle of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Square, over an area of 26,000 square meters.
Pravin Patel, the official adjudicator from the Guinness Book of Records, declared: “The pole fulfills all the specifications required to deserve the record.” He praised the Jeddah Municipality and Abdul Latif Jameel Community Initiatives (ALJCI) for overseeing the successful project.
In a speech, president of the ALJCI, Muhammad Abdul Lateef Jameel, said: “On this glorious day for our nation, we must congratulate ourselves and thank Allah for the boundless blessings showered on us.”
He also thanked Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah for ensuring peace, security and prosperity in the Kingdom. He said that citizens love the king.
He congratulated the king, Crown Prince Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, Deputy Crown Prince Muqrin and Makkah Gov. Prince Mishaal bin Abdullah on behalf of the people of Makkah province.
The ALJCI undertook the project in collaboration with the Jeddah Municipality using the world’s latest technology. Director General of ALJCI Ibrahim Badawood said the project was a great honor for the organization.
Badawood said the idea of constructing the national landmark, with the aim of dedicating it to the king and marking his return to the Kingdom after successful treatment abroad, was conceived by the ALJCI president two years ago and presented to Jeddah Mayor Hani Abu Ras.
Badawood said the Jeddah municipality chose the location to erect the pole, while Al-Babtain Contracting Co. carried out the construction work, which started on Oct. 16, 2012. The pole was manufactured in Tunisia while the steel was imported from countries including Germany, Italy, South Korea and Holland.
Supervising engineer Sharif Al-Bahar said in a speech during the launching ceremony that the greatest challenge faced by the project during the initial execution stage was its proximity to a tunnel on Andalus Road, which could affect the stability of the pole considering that the area is "situated in a seismic zone," prone to high winds and the load was heavy. This was overcome by selecting a very strong foundation at a location not affected by the tunnel.
The flag is 49.5 meters long, 33 meters wide (an area equal to half a football field) and weighs a whopping 570 kilograms. The flagpole is equipped with an automatic hoisting system, advanced cameras, a system for measuring wind speed and a lighting system for important occasions.
Al-Bahar said the project includes an emblem of the Kingdom with two 75-meter-long swords and an 85-meter palm tree at the center of the square covering an area of 26,000 square meters.