ABOVE: R.J. Smith Construction employee Jim Ingle is pictured next to a finial atop a flagpole next to Interstate 95 in Chester.
A new flag is coming to eastern Chesterfield County, a really big flag.
The flag will be the largest American flag in Virginia on the tallest flagpole in the state, according to a press release.
A flag-raising event will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18, at USA Iron and Metal, 1800 Coxendale Road.
The event will honor military troops, veterans, law enforcement and first responders.
Rich Smith, president of R.J. Smith Construction, said that he and his wife, Monique Smith, who owns USA Iron and Metal and R.J. Smith Materials, decided to erect a flagpole and raise a flag to give back to the community and affect people on a daily basis when they drive past it on Interstate 95. He said that some 100,000 people each day will pass by the flag on I-95.
The six-piece flagpole is 212 feet tall, and the flag is 40 feet by 76 feet in size. The planning process has been going on for over a year, he said.
A signing of the finial, or ball, located on top of the flag pole was held when the flagpole was erected last month. On that day, Chesterfield County Sheriff Karl Leonard and Police Chief Jeffrey Katz signed, along with construction workers and others.
Some 5,000 people are expected to attend the Nov. 18 event, which will include a mini-concert featuring Lee Greenwood and high school bands, several speakers, food trucks and bounce houses for kids. Attendees may start arriving at 1 p.m. The event is scheduled to last until 4 p.m.
“The flag brings us together,” Rich Smith said. “I’ve traveled the world. There’s no greater place than right here. All you’ve got to do is go somewhere else, and you’ll understand how great this country is.”
He said the decision to erect a flag and flagpole has nothing to do with a large Confederate battle flag that flies south of the Smiths’ flag next to Old Bermuda Hundred Road and I-95.