Qatar has scrapped much-anticipated plans to reveal the 10-ton “Flag of Gratitude and Loyalty” at Katara Beach on Dec. 16, due to the emblem’s sheer weight and other technical issues, the head of the project has told Doha News.
UPDATE | Monday, Dec. 16
Katara has confirmed that no flag unfurling will take place at its beach today, but has invited residents to partake in celebrations there as Qatar expects to break the world record for largest flag this afternoon. Festivities will start at 5pm.
Here’s what the flag looks like from an aerial perspective:
The flag!! @dohanews
— Abdallah Ali عبدالله (@QatariGuy) December 15, 2013
Instead, residents will likely have to view the flag, slated to enter the Guinness Book of World Records as the planet’s largest, at its project site outside of Lusail City.
During a visit yesterday, hundreds of men could be seen laying out blocks of stitched white material atop a base sheet. Three industrial sewing machines were on hand to stitch those blocks together, and public guards, an ambulance and a fire truck could also be observed.
Because it was a windy week, maroon-colored sandbags were placed on top of everything to keep things in place.
Speaking to Doha News, Muqeem Al Khayareen, executive director of the flag project, said that some 500 people have been working for six months to put together the world’s largest flag in time for National Day.
“We are not doing this to prove that we are making it big, we are trying to showcase to the world the love, affection and gratitude in the biggest way possible for our nation, with Guinness being the medium here to share it with the world.”
He added that once the campaign is over, organizers are considering distributing fabric of the flag to poorer nations in need of clothing.
Earlier this week, Katara had said it was “90 percent” done working on the world’s largest flag. Apparently, there were plans to spread the flag on a hill or over the sea, with the help of dhows, but the flag must be placed on flat ground to qualify for a Guinness World Record.
It is unclear when exactly residents will be able to view the finished flag, but we’ll keep you updated as we learn more.
Note: This article has been corrected to reflect that the flag unveiling was originally scheduled for Dec. 16 (Monday), not Saturday.