What do the Great Wall of China and Baku have in common?

Well, actually not Baku but it’s their brand new, world-beating flagpole. They can both be seen from space by the naked eye!

Sandra and I were watching a DVD in the living room when a series of thunderous explosions rocked the apartment block. Given that Azerbaijan is one of the biggest oil producers in the world and I had been woken in the middle of the night when the aviation fuel tanks at Bunsfield in the UK exploded, I immediately thought that one of the cities many massive oil tanks had ignited. Mighty bang followed bang and the livingroom window was illuminated by red, green and while lights. We pulled back the curtains and out along the “Bulvar” a gigantic firework display was underway. then we noticed that on the high ground by the Telecom tower, an even bigger one was taking place.

It wasn’t the anniversary of independence, it wasn’t the beginning of Ramadan, so what the hell was it then? I didn’t find out until Sandra came back from work the next day. Azerbaijan was celebrating the completion of the Worlds Tallest Unsupported Flagpole… At 162 meters, it is taller than the previous record holders. The Ashgabat Flagpole in Turkmenistan[133m] and the Aqaba flagpole in Jordan [132]. It is even bigger than the Kijŏng-dong flag tower in North Korea [160m] and that was the previous world record holder…

Gijeong Flag Tower in North Korea

Aquaba Flagpole, Jordan

I snapped this image of the Aqaba flagpole in 2006 and I can promise you that it is plenty big!

Baku Flagpole at 162m, the tallest in the world

 The flagpoles in Jordan, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan were all constructed by the same UAE based company [Trident Support] and no doubt, they will keep on building towers just a little bit bigger than the last for some time to come.

I leave you to draw your own conclusions as to the symbolic meaning of these structures!

About stevehollier

Steve Hollier is the editor of AZ Magazine, an English language lifestyle magazine based in Baku, Azerbaijan. He began his career working for a firm of stockbrokers in the City of London then went on to attend the University of Essex where he was awarded an MA in Sociology in 1984. After a career in arts and cultural development work, he became a freelance arts consultant, writer and photographer.
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1 Response to What do the Great Wall of China and Baku have in common?

  1. Congratulations to Baku!

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