ST. CLOUD -- Over a hundred people gathered at Minnesota Truck Headquarters to celebrate the hoisting of an exceptionally large American flag Friday afternoon.

The 60-by-30-foot flag, located along Highway 23 in St. Cloud, sits atop a 150-foot flagpole. General manager Rick Wildtraut says it's the largest flagpole in Minnesota.

Wildtraut says the idea for the flag has been percolating since the dealership opened in 2017.

"When we built the dealership, it was always on the back burner," Wildtraut says. "This year, as we've been breaking records and hitting targets, we were able to make sure the funds were available. We were very lucky to be able to put the dream into play this year."

Abby Faulkner

Toward the end of the ceremony, the flag was lowered to half-staff in honor of James Rogers Jr., Charles Nord, and Kort Plantenberg, three National Guardsmen killed earlier this month in a Black Hawk helicopter crash near Kimball.

"We're here to celebrate our military, our veterans, our first responders," says Wildtraut. "We're trying to do everything we can to make this ceremony special for them. It's a historic event for St. Cloud."