On April 13, 2016 renowned artist Wyland, The Wyland Foundation and the entire community dedicated the World’s Largest painted American Flag mural to the brave military men and women and the selfless first responders across the nation.
The impressive 3.8 acre American Flag was painted by Wyland on top of his Whaling Wall 88 at Legendary Marine in Destin, Florida. The newly painted American flag replaced a smaller flag that was done by Wyland in a patriotic gesture just after 9/11 in 2001. This past year, Wyland decided to paint an even larger flag and refresh Whaling Wall 88, which has become a community icon in Northwest Florida and a welcome beacon to visitors of Florida’s Emerald Coast.
The community rallied despite the torrential rain, to attend the official dedication ceremony on April 13th. The ceremony was a heartfelt celebration that included the Eglin Air Force Base Honor Guard, the National Anthem sung by Sr. Airman Christine David, one of 37 Airmen selected to sing in the Tops in Blue global tour; the invocation by Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office lead chaplain, retired Air Force veteran, and National Chaplain of the Year, Larry Carter; God Bless America sung by hit TV show The Voice finalist, Geoff McBride. The master of ceremonies was retired firefighter and 2008 Florida Firefighter of the Year, Shayne Stewart. Keynote speakers were the renowned environmental artist Wyland, who officially autographed the flag; retired Green Beret Staff Sgt. Bobby Dove, a wounded warrior who served with the Army’s 7th Special Forces Group; and Lt. Col. Christine Mau, the first female F-35 pilot and Deputy commander of the 33rd Fighter Wing Operations at Eglin Air Force Base.
“This is my favorite place in the country, and this mural signifies all the great people we have here and just how truly dedicated they are to our service members and first responders,” said Bobby Dove.
This monumental work of art is particularly inspirational because of the massive military presence in Northwest Florida. When military, commercial and private planes fly over the area, the American flag on the Legendary Marina represents the sincere appreciation for the sacrifices made by those who serve.
Wyland and Wyland Foundation are registering the flag with the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest mural of a flag distinction. The project was sponsored by Legendary Marine, Sherwin Williams and LuLu’s Destin, along with a distinguished group of area first responders serving on the Steering Committee. Thanks to Firehouse Subs, Whole Foods, Vintage Art and Signs, Sunbelt Rentals, and the 96th AMXS Maintenance Squadron of Eglin Air Force Base.