Łódź firm rolls out massive 3,800 square-metre flag for fans of English football club
A family-run firm from Łódź has printed the largest flag to ever appear in a football stadium in Europe.
The flag created for Newcastle United, who play in the English Premier League, will be a massive 72 metres x 54 metres and weigh about 350 kilograms. Created by fan group WOR Flags, the design celebrates the local area, inventions by natives of the city and the club’s iconic players. The group raised over £17,000 to get the flag made.
“You won't be able to spot all of these inventions and things the North East is famous for from a distance, but when fans buy replica merchandise they'll be able to look more closely and maybe see a bottle of Brown Ale on the window ledge or whatever," Dan Lycett of WOR Flags said.
The flag is made up of 51 stripes of a fire retardant polyester fabric that are 1.5 metres wide and 54 metres long, and has been put together by a Frejno, a Łódź company run by Michał Frejno, a keen football fan, and his family. After returning from the UK in 2011 Michał set up the company and focused on direct to garment printing, and it now employs his mother, brother and his wife, Monika.
The company offers a range of services from printing to t-shirts, hats and athleisure wear to embroidery and even creating scarves and hats. “Every month we launch new products so at this moment we make casual clothes, flags, different scarves, sports clothes for women and men, and many other things our customers need,” Frejno told TFN
The combined time Frejno and his team spent working on the flag exceeded 650 hours. This included the painstaking process of trimming a few centimetres of excess material off each one of the 51 stripes before sewing the stripes together to create the seamless image, which took 150 hours.
"We wanted a flag which encompassed everything that is great about the team, the fanbase and the area. It is not just about the two-mile radius around the city centre; we want this flag to be representative of our entire fanbase,” said Lycett.
“We know it has become a cliché to say that Newcastle fans are the best in the world, but some supporters genuinely believe that and we want to deliver something they can be proud of."
But physically delivering the flag from Łódź to Newcastle proved to be something of a problem.
Luckily a local wholesaler of drinks and confectionary stepped in and offered the use of one of their delivery vans to transport the massive flag on the trip, which is about 2,000 kilometres. An international ferry operator that travels between Newcastle and Amsterdam also offered free passage for the fans, saving them thousands of pounds.
While Newcastle United might not have won a major trophy since 1955 the club remains among the best supported clubs in the world, regularly attracting crowds over 55,000 and having an average attendance of 50,000 in most seasons since 2000. The famous black and white stripes of the club were last in a cup final when Alan Shearer, the Premier Leagues all-time top scorer, was their captain in 1999. Since then the supporters have endured a difficult time but remained loyal and now they create their own reasons to celebrate, by having the biggest flag of any club outside Brazil.