Biggest Swiss flag unfurled

The village of Vitznau is flying an enormous flag to mark national day Keystone

To commemorate Swiss national day, the village of Vitznau in Central Switzerland is flying the colours in a big way from Mount Rigi on the shores of lake Lucerne.

This content was published on August 1, 2000 minutes

It's a show of patriotism and a tourist attraction all in one. Vitznau on the north-eastern shore of Lake Lucerne is in the historical heartland of Switzerland.

It was near here on the night of August 1, 1291, that representatives of Uri, Schwyz and Nidwalden met to swear the Pact of Everlasting Alliance - the solemn act that founded the Swiss Confederation.

The huge flag measures 25 x 25 metres and weighs 600 kg. A team of 15 local mountain climbers needed a full day to unfurl its five component parts and anchor them to the steep cliffs of Mount Rigi, which is a popular tourist destination in itself.

The 625-square metre flag will be visible from as far away as the city of Lucerne and from many other parts of the lake area. Switzerland's largest flag will remain in place until the end of August or beginning of September, and is set to become an annual summer feature for the next ten years - its estimated lifespan.

by Bob Zanotti

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