Remember the impossible dreamer who hung a 366-by-193-foot American flag from New York’s Verrazano-Narrows Bridge back on June 28, 1976—and watched the wind rip it into tatters within hours? Well, Len Silver-fine, 41, is at it again. Two weekends ago he staged the biggest stadium card stunts ever attempted east of Peking. One purpose was to promote his efforts to hang another giant flag, and the scene was a University of Southern California football game. “It won’t work,” warned Dr. James Dennis, director of campus life and recreation at USC. “Someone is bound to drop his pants for national TV.” But 5,600 students hoisted their cards without incident—shaming the previous free world record of 3,700.
Silverfine, a onetime account executive and college lecturer, said he was delighted. Soon he hopes to persuade Revlon, which filmed part of the extravaganza for an Olympics commercial, to help underwrite another Great American Flag Project. The huge Stars and Stripes, like its ill-fated predecessor, would be displayed next July 4 at the entrance to New York Harbor as a tribute to Silverfine’s father and millions of other immigrants. It will be reinforced with steel and nylon ropes and will be 20 percent larger than the Bicentennial failure. The new flag will cost $300,000, and though Silver-fine hasn’t yet lined up backers, he’s not worried. “I haven’t felt this good,” he announced after his triumph in Los Angeles, “since the morning of June 28, 1976.”