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The Largest Flag

Pablo Etchevers Pablo Etchevers

Chile Bicentennial was celebrated by hoisting the largest national flag in the history of Chile. Applause, exclamations and more applause in a ceremony which will be kept in the memory of the Chilean forever.

Chile Bicentennial Celebrations in Santiago

At the popular Plaza de la Ciudadanía (Citizenship Square), one of the most important sites in the City of Santiago de Chile, there stands the Chilean Bicentennial Flag. Raised on September 17, 2010 to pay tribute to the 200th anniversary of the beginning of Chilean Independence, this huge flag is 27 meters long and 18 meters wide.

A 61-meter-high galvanized steel flagpole (divided into six 12-meter-long conical sections joined together by pressure) is the support which enables this giant flag to wave in the wind. The diameter of the flagpole’s base is one meter and its depth reaches almost 20 meters.

An inscription on it, signed by the then President of Chile, Sebastian Piñera, reads: "In commemoration of the Bicentennial of Chile, this flag has been raised to flutter with the wind as a symbol of brotherhood among the Chilean people, an engagement with freedom and a hopeful future ".

Chile Bicentennial Celebrations in Santiago

At an unusual ceremony before people specially trained to carry out this special event, President Sebastián Piñera led the raising of the first meters of this colossal national flag placed in front of La Moneda, the seat of the President of Chile.

A great crowd of people and different sectors of Chilean society attended this ceremony and listened to the speech given by the President, Ministers and remarkable personalities.

"The great Chilean family has gathered here at Plaza de la Ciudadanía, in the heart of our Republic, to raise and admire altogether the giant and magnificent Chilean Bicentennial Flag, which is majestically fluttering in the sky", stated the President of the Republic of Chile, accompanied by the former Presidents Patricio Aylwin, Eduardo Frei, Ricardo Lagos and Michelle Bachelet.

Chile Bicentennial Celebrations in Santiago

Beyond the words uttered by the current authorities in office, the most expected moment was undoubtedly the official raising of the Bicentennial Flag, clearly reflected on the faces of the people, especially, children.

As the flag was flown at the top, the Chilean Air Force added its patriotic feeling to this ceremony by flying their aircrafts and leaving vapor trails with the three national flag colors in the sky. This spectacular air show ended up when a gentle wind made the huge flag flutter as the verses of the Chilean National Anthem embraced the exciting atmosphere:

Chile Bicentennial Celebrations in Santiago

Pure, Chile, is your blue sky;
Pure breezes flow across you as well.
And your flower-embroidered field
Is a happy copy of Eden.
Majestic is the white snow-capped mountain
That was given as a bastion by the Lord
That was given as a bastion by the Lord,
And the sea that quietly washes your shores
Promises you future splendor
And the sea that quietly washes your shores
Promises you future splendor.

Sweet fatherland, accept the vows
That were given by Chile at your altars:
Either you be the tomb of the free
Or the refuge against oppression
Either you be the tomb of the free
Or the refuge against oppression

Chile Bicentennial Celebrations in Santiago

This undoubtedly was a memorable day in the history of Chile, which will be told by those who had the chance to experience this real festival and will be passed down from generation to generation.

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