GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) — When Randy Mongold and Trey Taparauskas decided they wanted to bring one of the tallest flag monuments in the world to Georgetown, they asked for help from their new friends in Wisconsin.
The folks in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, first debuted a 400-foot tall American flag monument in 2014 in honor of the 9/11 attacks.
Georgetown’s American flag monument will be a duplicate of the one in Wisconsin, standing 400 feet tall over Central Texas, or about the height of a 40-story building. For comparison, the Statue of Liberty is 100 feet shorter.
When the co-founder of Inspiration Park, Mongold, was asked why not go taller he said, “that’s the common question that I get, why not a foot taller? Texas does things bigger. Well, not here.”
Mongold said they could have built the American flag monument 401 feet tall but added, “who’s to say someone won’t build another one 402 feet.” He said the flag monument is not about competing with those in Wisconsin and referred to them as his friends.
He added asking for help saved the Central Texas project hundreds of thousands of dollars in engineering and design costs.
“We didn’t know how to get started with that and they told us all the things they would have done differently,” Mongold said.
The flag monument would be the highlight of what Mongold and Taparauskas say they’re creating — Inspiration Park.
It would feature a history wall, a “Cost of War” wall, and an interactive U.S. map. They said their goal in creating and building this park is to honor our country and educate the next generation.
“My hope is that we could bring our kids in and understand by looking at a graphic presentation of the 245 years that made up America,” Mongold said.
They added this flag does not have political affiliation with Mongold stating, “it’s just America.”
“There are so many different angles you can come at this flag to appreciate or love without making it political,” Taparauskas, co-founder of Inspiration Park said.
The project costs around $5 million with $3 million going just to the flag monument itself. Taparauskas said they hope to have the flag up and flying over Central Texas by late next year. The project is all donation-based and they are currently in the process of fundraising.
Taparauskas said it’s going to cost thousands to run the park each year. Just the upkeep of the flag and replacements could cost up to $50,000 annually. They plan to charge a couple of bucks to enter the park to go to these costs and anything left over will go to help veteran-based organizations and nonprofits.
Taparauskas said they have received Federal Aviation Administration approval for the flag monument. In the meantime, City of Georgetown officials said the proposal for Inspiration Park is under review by city staff and will be reviewed by the Planning and Zoning Commission before being reviewed by City Council.