The Mesmerizing Live Video of an American Flag Disintegrating in the Face of Hurricane Florence

Kevin the flag.
Kevin the flag.

The Frying Pan Tower, a coast guard station 34 miles off North Carolina, is in the path of Hurricane Florence as it approaches land. The tower has cameras pointed at the surface of the Atlantic Ocean, the sky, and the depths of the waters below, and you can watch its live feeds of the storm’s arrival.

The most popular feed by far, with more than 100,000 viewers as of Thursday evening, is the one of the ocean’s surface, likely because of the American flag that’s being battered by the wind smack in the middle of the shot.

Over the course of the hourslong stream, you’ll see the flag slowly disintegrate in the face of the storm. After a valiant effort to hold together during the first hour, it begins to fray at the bottom and rip along the seam between the 10th and 11th stripes. At the end of the second hour, the bottom three strips have twisted themselves into a knot, and the eighth and ninth stripes start to split. By the fourth hour, it looks as if a third of the flag is simply missing.

People have been cheering the flag in the video’s comment section, convinced that it will weather the storm with its pole still intact. Some have remarked upon the metaphorical significance of the devastated flag as a symbol for a divided country in pain. (Personally, this seems a bit on the nose.)

Others named the flag as Kevin, and now there’s a @kevintheflag account on Twitter with a description that reads, “just your basic flappy boi tryin to make it in this world.”

Hurricane Florence’s outer bands began barraging North Carolina’s Outer Banks with forceful winds and torrential rains on Thursday morning. The storm is expected to make its way through North and South Carolina, and possibly Georgia, this weekend.