Supersizing Old Glory
“The short timeline parameter was our biggest challenge. All aspects of the well-executed plan had to fall into place in order to meet the production, shipping, and installation deadline.”
The Job To stock-car-racing fans, nothing says America quite like a NASCAR race on Memorial Day weekend – well except for maybe an American flag rivaling the size of a football field. To offer a thanks to war veterans while sprucing up its venue’s aesthetic,] the Charlotte Motor Speedway set out to adorn its 1.5-mile quad-oval track with one of the largest American flags in the world. The Speedway didn’t have to look far for a print provider to take on the massive undertaking: Michigan’s Britten Inc. was already onsite installing six 40 x 60-inch military banners. “Track personnel asked our installation-crew chief if Britten could output the flag in 24 hours and have it installed in 48 hours,” says Kaitlyn Burns, Britten’s marketing coordinator. “We, of course, said ‘Yes, Britten can make that happen.’”
Production Britten’s art department created the graphic in Adobe Illustrator and its digital department executed the final tweaks to ensure the file was print-ready using the same software in conjunction with Onyx PosterShop. Deadline constraints only allowed for the client to soft proof the graphic.
Using its HP Scitex XL1500 5Ms, Britten output the flag onto five sections of Britten Inc.’s own AdMesh Vinyl Coated Scrim with 25-percent blow-through. Then, the individual printed panels of material were hemmed using a Dürkopp Adler industrial sewing machine, creating five separate flag sections to be assembled onsite. “Our sewing team used a lot of thread and webbing and a tremendous amount of manpower.” Once it had finished, Britten rented a truck and delivered the flag overnight. “The sheer size of the banner – and most importantly the weight of it – was a major concern in handling this large piece of signage,” says Burns. The final construction of the star spangled banner weighed more than two tons and measured 120 x 280 feet.
The four Britten installers and 15 outside labors already onsite installed the flag in approximately eight hours. “Our primary crew was on site to accept the flag; we brought in temporary crew to assist in putting the flag in position. It had to be carried physically to its location; mechanical means to place the flag were not available,” says Tori Esch, Britten’s national account executive. Installation included attaching the five sections of the flag together using heavy-duty Velcro.
The Client Charlotte Motor Speedway
The Players Britten Inc. (www.brittenbanners.com)
Tools & Supplies HP Scitex XL1500 5Ms, Britten Inc. AdMesh Vinyl Coated Scrim, Dürkopp Adler sewing machine