Patriotism a big deal at RV dealer in Allegheny Township
Nothing says America like apple pie, an 80-foot American flag and an RV dealer in Allegheny Township.
An 80-by-40-foot American flag flies high at Camping World along Route 356, which bought Cooper's RV in Allegheny Township late last year, according to Kyle Coleman (no relation to Coleman campers), general sales manager.
Currently, Camping World's flag is the fifth largest American flag in the state.
But not for long as the company that manufactures the poles and, not surprisingly, the flags as well, has received a record number of orders for the gigantic flags so far this year, including an upcoming installation at the Arnold Palmer Airport in Westmoreland County, according to Steve Symonds, president of Symonds Flags and Poles in Fort Worth, Texas.
Apparently, unfurling an unusually large American flag is part of Camping World's local landscape for its dealerships across the country.
"Before we built out, we put up the American flag," Coleman said. In fact, the RV dealership had more than 40 people on hand for the raising of the flag, including local veterans, on June 2.
"Camping and patriotism go along together," said Coleman.
Marcus Lemonis, chairman of Camping World, added in an email: "We love bringing together our local communities to celebrate our great country and the brave men and women who have fought for us and will continue raising these flags in other markets in the coming months."
For the Allegheny Township site, the flag makes the dealership impossible to miss, which is desirable as the Allegheny Township location is a "destination" dealership, drawing customers from western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio.
Residents, too, can't help but notice the flag.
Bridgette Jodon, who lives near the dealership said, "when it flares out, it's beautiful."
The big flag's appeal continues to grow, with Symonds having its biggest year yet with revenues of about $10 million on flags and poles, with 180 orders for the 130-foot-tall poles and 800 of the 80-foot flags, according to Symonds.
"People can complain all they want about the guy but, the day Donald Trump was elected, my business was going through roof," he said.
"It's unbelievable. Ronald Reagan was probably the best thing (for sales) too," Symonds added.
He also attributes the jolt in sales to a better economy: "A flag pole isn't a roll of toilet paper. You don't need one. When things aren't so good is when people don't buy them."
The flag poles weigh 9,000 pounds, with about 10 yards of concrete poured in the foundation, dug 13 feet into the ground.
Although the flag is massive, winds of just 10 to 12 mph can float it and gusts of 13 to 15 mph fly it straight, fully unfurled.
Mary Ann Thomas is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-226-4691, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @MaThomas_Trib.