By Rusty Bradshaw
Old Glory is flapping in the breeze again above the Liberty Buick dealership on Bell Road.
A new flagpole was put in place at the business, 8737 W. Bell Road, Peoria. The new pole replaced one that was damaged by a storm Dec. 24, 2016. The damage was such that the pole began to give way.
“For safety, the top portion had to be removed and lowered to the ground,” said Kim Cummings, Liberty marketing director.
The 150-foot pole was erected in 1995 when construction on the dealership was completed.
“It has been a community landmark and beacon for Liberty ever since,” Mr. Cummings said.
The pole holds an oversized American flag that is visible from most points along Bell Road, Loop 101, downtown Peoria business towers and nearby public hiking trails.
The new pole was planted June 29 and plans were made to raise the flag July 4. However, it occurred a day early when Liberty staff tested the rope and pulley on the new pole. Once raised to the top, it would not come down smoothly, so it was left raised. An announcement was made at noon July 4 about the new pole during a special event at the dealership that drew a large crowd of people.
Peoria’s flagpole height restrictions had been adjusted to 100 feet since the 1995 initial installation and Liberty officials worked with city leaders to get the original height grandfathered to the original 150 feet, according to Mr. Cummings.
The Liberty flagpole is one of four at auto dealerships along Bell Road west of Loop 101, but Liberty’s is the tallest.