Author Topic: The furling of the George Washington Bridge flag - a VERY rare shoot  (Read 2899 times)

Offline BLeafe

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On November 11 - Veterans Day - I went with two friends who had never been on the George Washington Bridge's pedestrian walkway nor had they ever seen the giant US flag displayed from the New Jersey tower of the bridge. And then something happened that I had never seen before that I was very fortunate to be able to photograph.

I was afraid that the flag would already be gone by the time we got there - around 2pm. For the last few years, the Port Authority has taken it down (actually, up) WAY too early.......sometimes at 1pm instead of letting it hang all day and evening when the bridge is lit. It's just incredibly dopey of the PA to think that holidays end soon after lunch.

Fortunately, the flag was still there when we arrived.

I took pictures as we approached the tower and the first two images shown below are the last two pictures I took before we went around to the other side of the tower. Notice the straight horizontal bar that the flag hangs from in the first picture.

When I got to the other side of the tower, the bar suddenly looked bent and the flag began twisting into odd shapes. When it went limp, I realized that it was being furled back up into its year-round container. This was something that few people get to see from practically right beneath it, let alone photograph it happening, so I spent the next few minutes snapping away.

The flag didn't stay limp for very long. The wind grabbed it and twisted it into shapes I've never seen before, like some form of blustery desecration. Then it went limp again and looked almost like a resurrection into some eternal realm as it began to enter the black hole.

After a few more gusts, it started to disappear - done for the year. I didn't get the last shot of it as it vanished because I was trying to shoot some video, but because the bridge seems to shake even more when you're a few feet from the tonnage rumbling by, it's not a good video.

I don't care - I got to shoot something very rare (BTW - all these images were shot in a 6-minute period). I've found one or two pictures online that show the flag at the initial bent-bar level, but without any mention that it was part of upward or downward flag movement. I've found nothing showing sequential start-to-finish images from almost point-blank range.

Hopefully, this post will change that.

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Offline Homer Jones

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Re: The furling of the George Washington Bridge flag - a VERY rare shoot
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2015, 08:51:40 PM »
Great shots. Look back to April, 2009 when you and I both posted about Ronald Reagan's visit to City Hall. That was the flag that was borrowed to hang off the front of 210 Main to prevent sniper fire when he spoke outside the bridge at the City Hall complex facing Banta Place.