Cheers and clapping welcomed the Manitowoc Company’s new 20-by-30-foot American flag as it was unfolded and carefully handled in preparation for its debut flight.

The monumental flag took close to 15 people to handle properly and nearly a minute to rise to the top of the newly installed 80-foot flagpole that is surrounded by their crane display.

“I think people for years have driven by this facility and wondered what we did,” said Brian Smith, director of Human Resources at Manitowoc. “I think this is bringing our product to the forefront of the community.”

Manitowoc is one of the world's leading providers of lifting equipment for the global construction industry, including a variety of cranes and boom trucks.

In addition to the flag, Manitowoc also officially welcomed to the Shady Grove Facility the Crawler product line, which was traditionally built in Wisconsin.

The manufacturing facility has been preparing for the Crawler crane arrival since August of 2016.

“We’ve renovated a large number of our buildings here at the facility to accommodate the larger cranes, and this is the first sign that Crawler cranes will be built here at Shady Grove," Smith said.

The Crawler cranes are used in heavy lifting such as bridge construction and in the mining industry.

“In the last four to five years, we have had to lay off in excess of 250 to 300 people,” said Smith. “Bringing this back here, we hope to be able to hire a number of more people back. We’ve hired about 80 people back here since the beginning of the year.”