Confederate battle flag.
Confederate battle flag was raised in 2008.

World's 2nd Largest Confederate Flag

Field review by the editors.

Brandon, Florida

First hoisted aloft in 2008, a giant Confederate battle flag was the centerpiece of a Confederate veterans memorial, created by Marion Lambert as a spit-in-the-eye to county commissioners who refused to acknowledge a celebration of "Southern Heritage Month."

The flag, 50x30 feet, flew on a pole tall enough that the provocative symbol could be seen miles away on the interstate and from surrounding communities. The Sons of Confederate Veterans insisted that it honored the courage of Rebel soldiers who fought in the Civil War, but most others who saw it had a different association....

Confederate flag.
Confederate national flag aloft in 2021.

We spotted big battle flag twice on different days, from I-75 and I-4. Venturing to its base, we half-expected some kind of private, walled compound, but it was in an accessible roadside spot with convenient parking spaces.

A sign identified the area as "General Jubal A. Early Camp 556," with a small plaza centered around a granite monument in front of the flag pole. According to a plaque, the site is dedicated to the Confederate forces who "fought, bled and died in defense of their homeland against ruthless invasion and who strove to protect America's birthright of Constitutional liberty and freedom dating from 1776."

The Sons of Confederate Veterans initially had plans to place another four giant Confederate flags around the state for their "Flags Across Florida" initiative, but as years passed this seemed even more ludicrous and unlikely than it did in 2008.

For nine years Lambert proudly identified his flag as the World's Largest. It fell to second place in 2017, when a flag in Virginia was raised that was designed to be slightly larger: 51x31 feet.

Private ownership of the Brandon property has stymied efforts to permanently remove what most now consider an abhorrent spectacle, which one local characterized to us as "not a jaunty fun place to take the family, but a monument to hate."

In 2021 a new twist was added; the Confederate battle flag was lowered, and replaced by a similar-sized, less-recognizable Confederate national flag.

World's 2nd Largest Confederate Flag

Address:
E. Hillsborough Ave., Brandon, FL
Directions:
The giant flagpole and its tiny private lot are on the north side of US Hwy 92/E. Hillsborough Ave. just west of the I-75 overpass.
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