Giant Flag Created for July Fourth Holiday

Drone photos were taken by Paul Pitts, who was visiting Lake Panorama for the holiday. His daughter and son-in-law, Valerie and Josh Strehle, live near the Hansen home where the giant lawn flag was painted.

By Susan Thompson

Like many Lake Panorama residents, Lyle and Paula Hansen displayed an American flag on a pole in front of their home as part of their Fourth of July celebration. But they also took their patriotism one step further, by displaying a giant flag painted on their lawn. Their son, Chip Hansen, was the mastermind behind the project.

“I thought of this last summer after seeing different ways people had displayed flags around the lake,” says Chip. “We’ve got a gentle slope to the water, and I thought it would a great place to paint the American flag.”

The flag is made to scale, and is five times the size of a standard 3 x 5 flag. The first step was to mow down the area, and clean out all the grass clippings.

“I used field turf paint, just like what is used on athletic fields,” Chip says. “White was put down first as a primer. I then came back with blue for the star field, red for the stripes, and white again for the stars.”   

“I had help from a graphic designer to lay out the star field, and also to develop a template for the stripes,” he says. The artwork required about 10 gallons of paint. From start to finish, including drying time, it took him about eight hours to create.

The Hansen family has a long history at Lake Panorama. In the early 1980s, Lyle and Paula had a home in Horseshoe Cove, plus their permanent residence in Audubon. They sold that lake home in the late 1980s as Chip and Carrie became more involved in sports and other activities in Audubon. They and Carrie continue to live in Audubon.

“We spent time at Lake Panorama as kids, and have fond members of that,” says Chip, who now lives in Atlantic. He bought an offshore lot and boat in 2011, and a year later, Lyle and Paula bought the waterfront home across the street. The home is on the west side, between Jones Cove and Sunset Beach.

Hansen says the giant flag should weather rain without too much trouble, although it will start to fade as the grass grows back. “I turned off the sprinklers in that area to help preserve it as long as possible,” he says.

Chip’s nearby bare lot made it possible to do a test run a few weeks earlier to prepare for the Fourth of July flag. “That one has held up pretty well through the rain,” he says.

Will the Hansen’s giant flag become a Fourth of July feature, similar to the annual Fire in the Sky at Shady Beach? “I’m really happy with how this one turned out,” Chip says. “So yes, I’d like to make the flag an annual Fourth of July tradition here at Lake Panorama.”