For more than thirty years, motorists driving down the 10 Freeway in Santa Monica have grown accustomed to seeing the massive American flag waving from atop Southern California Disposal and Recycling 's headquarters.
The Stars and Stripes
The flag wasn't always a Santa Monica landmark, however. Back in 1974 SCD's founder Sam Kardashian, son of Armenian immigrants, wanted to declare his love for his country in a big way. He hit upon the idea of flying the largest flag in the west. Then, since it stood to reason that the largest flag had to fly from the highest flagpole, he had a specially designed, 100-foot tower constructed to display the flag.
The oversized Stars and Stripes were first hoisted up the giant flagpole to much fanfare on August 21, 1974, and drew immediate and continuing attention. It was evident from the start that many people shared Sam's pride in America. From the very first, the flag inspired outpourings of affection and respect - not only from area residents - but from people all across the country. In fact, over the past 34 years Sam's flag has received enough fan mail to fill two large scrapbooks!
Some Facts About SCD's Flag:
SCD's custom-made flag measures a whopping 30' x 50' and weighs 48 pounds.
The flag flies from a specially constructed 100-foot tower.
It takes four people to raise the flag - and the conditions must be just right. Strong winds make handling the flag close to impossible.
A flag lasts an average of only three months, due to wind and weather conditions. Replacement flags must be ordered on an average of three to four times each year.
The flag has been stolen on two separate occasions in the past 34 years - and both times the crimes made headlines. Many people were so outraged by the thefts that they sent checks and letters of support to Sam. Sam returned the checks, but kept the letters.
SCD Flies World's Largest Ecology Flag in Honor of Earth Day
For the past two years, Southern California Disposal & Recycling has celebrated Earth Day by flying the world's largest Ecology flag. The 30' x 50' flag - the symbol of the ecology movement since the late 1960's - graphically demonstrates our commitment to sound environmental practices.
We hope our Ecology flag will serve as a reminder that all of us can play a role in reducing global warming by making environmentally sound choices - both large and small - in our daily lives.
Each year, from Memorial Day through Independence Day, SCD displays a special POW-MIA flag.
The POW-MIA Flag: A Tribute to Valiant Soldiers
The flag was commissioned in honor of Staff Sergeant James Michael Ray, a young soldier reported missing in action during the Viet Nam War. The concept for the flag was presented to Sam Kardashian by Sgt. Ray's family. It was their hope a large flag flown in such a prominent location would serve as an ongoing reminder of the plight of the POW-MIAs.
Sam was so touched by the Ray family's story that he vowed to display the flag each year until every missing soldier and prisoner-of-war was accounted for.
The flag flies in commemoration not just of Staff Sgt. Ray, but for all of our country's brave soldiers lost and missing in action, in hopes that they may never be forgotten.