How high does the Flag of Tajikistan fly? According to the Guinness Book of World Records, higher than any other at a dizzying 541 ft.
The Dushanbe Flagpole was constructed by a San Diego-based construction company named Trident Support, who also erected the record breaker’s runner up, the 531 ft. National Flagpole in Azerbaijan. Consisting of 12-meter sections of steel tubing which were assembled by crane, the massive endeavor took five months to complete, the first test flight of the national flag taking place in May, 2011. Such was the state of things until 2014, when its position was usurped by Saudi Arabia’s Jedda Flagpole, which measured in at 170 meters in height.
All three flagpoles occupying the top spots on what would be the world’s most precarious podium, in addition to also-rans in Jordan and Abu Dhabi, were marketed, sold and built by Trident Support Corporation, based in San Diego, California. Originally a defense logistics company, Trident has managed to corner the market on this obscure niche of what’s been called the “global dictator dick-measuring contest” since the turn of the new millennium.
Tajikistan’s erstwhile most-gigantic-flagpole-ever can be found standing tall in front of Palace of Nations in Dushanbe. In total, the project cost the fledgling nation $3.5 million, part of an exorbitant $210 million spent on construction celebrating the 20th anniversary of Tajikistan’s independence. The Flag of Tajikistan that graces the mighty pole had to be epic in its own right to be seen from such a great distance, weighing in at 1,543 pounds, and measuring approximately 98 × 196 feet.
Regardless of whether it occupies the silver medal position for long, when viewed from the ground, those 15 feet that currently separate it from dominating its competitors are hardly noticeable, making for an awesome spectacle made all the more disorienting when placed against the backdrop of Dushanbe’s modest cityscape.