Just how big is that Canadian flag?

YOU ASKED: My kids and I were admiring the Canadian flag flying at the Columbia Place Shopping Centre. We were wondering exactly the dimensions of the flag, including the weight. And is it the largest flag in the Kamloops area? How does it compare in size to the flag flying on the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill in Ottawa?

- Patty Meller

OUR ANSWER: Apparently, Patty, you and your children aren't the only ones who've been curious about that gigantic flag.

Columbia Place Shopping Centre's maintenance supervisor, Tim Arnold, says he fields queries about the flag all the time.

"Oh, yes," said Arnold. "They all ask, 'What does it cost? What's the height of it? Where does it come from? That sort of thing."

As a matter of fact, the Columbia Place flag costs $1,300 and it flies from a pole 30 metres tall.

The flag itself measures 6.1 metres by 12.2 metres and weighs a mighty 11.3 kilograms (35 pounds).

Columbia Place has flown a giant Canadian flag ever since the shopping centre opened in the late 1980s.

"It's kind of a landmark for us," said Arnold.

If you've ever wondered why a Maple Leaf that old looks so good year after year, it's because a new one is hoisted up every 12 months due to weather-related wear and tear, and is bought from a flag manufacturer back East.

And, speaking of back East, the flag perched atop the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill would be dwarfed three times over by the shopping centre's Maple Leaf.

That's because the tower's flag measures a mere 2.2 metres by 4.5 metres. Much smaller, yes, but when you consider it's changed daily you probably wouldn't want anything bigger. (Can you imagine the outcry from taxpayers if they had to foot the bill for a $1,300 flag every day?)

As for the dominant size of the Columbia Place flag, we are unaware of any larger cloth flags in the Kamloops region, but the town of Falkland has a massive plywood Maple Leaf on its hillside, measuring 8.5 by 17.1 metres.

In the end, Surrey trumps everyone. It's home to a car dealership, called Flag Chevrolet, which flies a monstrous 12-metre-by-24-metre Canadian flag onsite.

Now that's big.

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