February 15, 2018

3 Min Read
Storage of America Flag Stirs Up Controversy With Anderson University in Indiana

A large American flag flying at the new Storage of America (SOA) headquarters in Anderson, Ind., has caused concern among students and faculty at nearby Anderson University (AU). Complaints have been made that the flag’s size could block views of a campus landmark and cause noise, according to the source.

SOA, which operates seven self-storage facilities in Indiana, Michigan and Ohio, moved its corporate headquarters into the former Warner Press building at 1201 E. 5th St. last month. The company plans to add 50,000 square feet of self-storage, a retail store and rentable work space to its corporate offices.

Shortly after the flagpole was erected, complaints arose that it would obstruct views of Park Place Church of God, a sanctuary and AU landmark. Others said the sound coming from the flag on windy days is “overpowering and distracting,” the source reported.

AU administrators discussed the concerns and determined the flag wasn’t causing any significant problems on campus. “I do have to represent the views of campus,” AU President John Pistole said. “However, in the end, it is [SOA’s] property and their call. They checked with the city to ensure they were meeting regulations. As long as the flag is not a nuisance, it can stay.”

Pistole also spoke with SOA’s executive vice president. “They are wanting to be good partners with us,” he said. “They eventually want to have a retail store on the ground floor of that building and want to hire students to work part-time in the store.”

Although the flag is getting mixed reviews, it hasn’t had a significant impact on initial impressions from prospective students, according to Amanda Huber, visit coordinator in the AU Office of Admissions. “But our cruisers, who walk the families and new students around campus, haven’t heard any comments. It hasn’t made a lot of negative impact.”

Michael Weigel, a senior and president of the AU College Democrats, said the group supports the demonstration but expressed concerns about its safety. “We like and support the American flag in the general sense, but are also curious as to what might happen if this specific large flag is flown at half-mast,” he said.

AU College Republicans posted a photo of the flag on Instagram and Twitter with a caption that encouraged student to call SOA and “express gratitude.” “The AU College Republicans are proud to support the decision of Storage of America to install the large American flag on their new property. We believe the American flag is an important symbol,” said club president Josh Senft.

Because of its size, the flag won’t be taken down each day, but instead illuminated at night. All SOA locations fly an American flag, with some even larger than the one at the Anderson location, the source reported.

Founded in 2003 and currently based in Indianapolis, SOA has 10 self-storage locations under development, according to its website. It uses a vertical-integration model, in which 12 wholly owned subsidiaries perform most of the design, planning and construction on its projects.

The Andersonian, Installation of Large American Flag Causes Campus Controversy



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