Volunteers Place ‘Big Betsy’ in Cold Water Canyon

Nov 11, 2018, 9:13 PM | Updated: Nov 12, 2018, 7:43 pm

WEBER COUNTY, Utah – About 100 volunteers with the group Follow the Flag hiked up Cold Water Canyon early Sunday morning to fly a flag they call Big Betsy.

At 150 feet by 78 feet, it’s the largest American flag to fly in history.

Today, it’s flying in honor of all veterans, but especially Major Brent Taylor who was killed on November 3rd while serving for the Utah National Guard in Afghanistan.

Weber County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue posted about the process to get the giant flag in place.

Follow along their journey in the captions. They are captioned exactly as they are on the posts. Photos are courtesy Weber County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue.

Early on Sunday morning, we gathered in the predawn light to coordinate tasks. Climb team members head up to the anchor site on the south side of the canyon, this is the side with the winch for pulling the flag across the canyon. — with Robert Clark, Johnny Daines, Jared Randall and John Sohl.
The main group who will carry the flag up the canyon gather for a morning prayer. http://followtheflag.org/
The front of the flag as it is carried up the canyon.
The 150' long flag is carried up the canyon by many, many hands.
The WCSSAR Climb Team South Side group. — with Jared Randall, Johnny Daines, Robert Clark and John Sohl.
Several of our team come up the canyon in advance of the flag. — with Buffi Tuttle, Lane McPheeters and Caleb Stoker.
And the flag is nearing the anchor point on the north side of the canyon.
It has been a long way up to this point.
And it is decided that we should stop here.
And the flag is carefully set down. Time to flip back the tarp.
There were quite a few drones in the air taking video of the event. Jeff Stark and others on our team are making sure everyone stays safe today in this rocky and difficult terrain. Dustin Robley is bringing up an additional rope. The "other" Horton. Mike is not sure who is taking his picture On the other side of the canyon, the team is preparing to winch the flag across. Allen Melle is one of our safety personnel today. Attaching the carabiners to the flag.
The flag is wrapped into the tarp again and is carried to the steep hill.
And it's slowly and carefully is handed down the line.
View from across the canyon of the flag being handed down.
The South Side Team setting up multiple backups for catching the line if something should slip or fail. Fortunately, the operation went very smoothly.
The South Side Team is set, all systems verified and within a minute of starting winch operations.
Starting to pull the flag out of the protective tarp.
Securing the flag to the support line and starting to send it out over the canyon. It is tied up as it is pulled from the north side of the canyon towards the south, and will be unfurled when in place. The flag had numerous bundle points that kept it under control in the wind. It was released after it was out over the canyon. The South Side Team operating the haul line winch system (center). — with Johnny Daines, John Sohl, Robert Clark and Jared Randall. The flag is almost in position. The ties are pulled. And the flag unfurles. It is a beautiful sight blowing in the breeze. Our magnificent American flag on Veterans Day, in honor of Brent Taylor. The South Side Team had to winch the line very tightly to control the huge flag in the wind. — with Johnny Daines, Robert Clark, John Sohl and Jared Randall. And now it's time for everyone to take a picture in front of the flag. — with Shaun Palm.
Group shot of our WCSAR team members on the north side of the canyon. — with Bonnie N Dave Casperson, Dustin Robley, Doug Telleson, Cal Taylor, Allen Melle and Mark Lee Jensen. And a good shot by Kevin. — with Bonnie N Dave Casperson, Lane McPheeters, Buffi Tuttle, Cal Taylor, Mark Lee Jensen, Caleb Stoker and Allen Melle. And another of the group down by the flag deployment. — with Lane McPheeters, Caleb Stoker, Kyle Fox and Buffi Tuttle. Wonderful image of the flag from the south team while on their way back down. As we trek back to our cars, there are many opportunities to view the flag from the trail. And everyone takes a picture. The morning sun is just beginning to light up the flag.
Thanks to everyone who came out to help in this fantastic event. Also, thanks to everyone who sent me images to post!
Saturday morning's south side setup for the anchor system and lines. The drone flew the light weight tag line across and now we are pulling the heavy line across.
Pausing while the north side clears a snarl. Everyone got a chance to haul lines or secure anchor systems. — with Tim Speicher, Eli Whitman, Nathan Foster and Neil Roberts.
With four of us hauling the tag line, one passing it through and one winding it, we got into our grove and starting hauling fast. — with Neil Roberts, Nathan Foster, Jed Malmberg and John Sohl.
Nathan watching over the group's safety. We were all watching each other to make sure no one got hurt, whenever someone is out of the system they watch over the entire process, which is our standard protocol.
Eli and Neil happy to be helping! — with Eli Whitman and Neil Roberts.
Setting the anchors for the winch that will be used to haul the flag across. — with Nathan Foster, John Sohl, Eli Whitman and Neil Roberts.
The WCSAR South Side assist team. All anchors are set, the main lines are in place, time to head home for the day. Thanks to Davis Co. SAR and others for all the pre-rigging and organization. (And one of us is out of sync...🙄) — with John Sohl, Eli Whitman and Neil Roberts.

Here is the post from Weber County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Gwyneth Paltrow carries two beverages as she walks past Terry Sanderson, the man suing her, after t...
Sam Metz

Man suing Gwyneth Paltrow to testify in Utah ski crash trial

The man suing Gwyneth Paltrow over a 2016 collision at an upscale Utah ski resort is expected to take the stand.
11 hours ago
(Derek Petersen/KSL TV)...
Josh Ellis

Davis School District goes virtual, other schools delay start times as snowstorm slams northern Utah

The Weber and Ogden school districts announced a two-hour delay to start times Monday as yet another round of snow impacted morning commutes across northern Utah.
11 hours ago
Jesus the Christ: The Mesa Easter Pageant...
Candice Madsen

Behind the scenes of the world’s largest annual Easter pageant

Spectacular pageantry, Biblical verse, music, dance, and a cast of hundreds help tell the greatest story ever told on the grounds of the Mesa Arizona Temple.
1 day ago
Crews cleaning off ice on an airplane. (KSLTV/Mark Less)...
Ayanna Likens

SLC airport suggests arriving early ahead of spring break travel

Salt Lake City International Airport is expecting high volumes of travel this week with more than 29,000 passengers to go through the airport.
1 day ago
A semi truck lost control and ended up in the Weber River Sunday afternoon. (Mountain Green Fire Pr...
Brooke Williams

Semi hauling 72,000 lbs of beer crashes in creek near Weber River

A semi truck lost control and ended up in a creek near the Weber River Sunday afternoon.
1 day ago
Sandy Police said one person died in an officer-involved shooting Sunday morning. (KSL TV)...
Shelby Lofton

Witness video captures deadly officer-involved shooting

Sandy Police said one person died in an officer-involved shooting Sunday morning.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Stack of old laptops with dark background...
PC Laptops

Old Laptop Upgrades You Need to Try Before Throwing it Away

Get the most out of your investment. Try these old laptop upgrades before throwing it out to keep it running fast and efficient.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Close up of an offset printing machine during production...
Les Olson IT

Top 7 Reasons to Add a Production Printer to Your Business

Learn about the different digital production printers and how they can help your company save time and money.
vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
Volunteers Place ‘Big Betsy’ in Cold Water Canyon