In Disneyland’s Town Square, it’s hard to miss the towering 65 foot flagpole, but have you ever noticed the flagpole’s unique-looking base? It’s an ornate piece of metal that came to Disneyland because of an automobile accident in Los Angeles.
When you first enter Disneyland, you’ll find a City Hall, a Fire Department, a Theater and, of course, a village green in the area known as “Town Square.” Installed in the center of the green is Disneyland’s flagpole, and there’s an interesting story behind the flagpole’s base.
Emile Kuri, a Disney Legend, worked with Walt on many design projects. He was quite talented, winning a couple of Academy Awards for “Best Art Direction” (20,000 Leagues Under The Sea and The Heiress) and was nominated for several more. Since he was a set decorator, he had an eye for design features and props that could be used in the construction of Disneyland. Disney imagineers were always on the lookout for genuine-vintage design elements, especially for Main Street.
The story goes that he was driving home and noticed an automobile driver had knocked over a light post on Wilshire Blvd in Los Angeles. (Another account says that the accident was actually in the vicinity of Pico and Bundy). Emile stopped and offered to buy the light post base for $5 scrap metal, and the rest is history.
Light pole becomes a Disneyland flagpole base
That same light pole base was installed as Disneyland’s flagpole base, and has been in Town Square since opening day, July 17, 1955.