It's not just the history behind the Arsenal flagpole, but the mystery as well, that makes it unforgettable.
"The flag is always there as a symbol of the U.S. government presence on that piece of land," says George Eaton, Historian for Army Sustainment Command.
When Fort Armstrong was built in 1816, the flag could be seen for miles.
"People talked about how big the flagpole was," Eaton adds
And after the Arsenal was built in 1866, the flag's dominating presence continued.
"All the traffic flowed around the flag pole," Eaton adds.
It got moved several times, but still stands strong today at 160 feet tall.
"This is huge, twice the size of most army posts."
And it's even supported by a surprising source.
"The story behind us is the steel behind us is the leftover steel from the 1896 bridge. So it has a tie down to the government bridge as well behind me," Eaton adds.
And high atop it sits a ball, or "truck" as it's called; a truck that shares a story all its own.
"The lore is that inside the truck are items to burn the flag and defend the post in case your post is being overrun," explains Eaton.
So in the event of an attack, the last defending man would make his way to the flagpole and then climb it to get what's inside.
"Something to cut the flag, something to burn the flag, and then a bullet for the person who is doing all that so they're not captured by enemy forces," Eaton recalls.
The story has lived on throughout the years and in 2010, someone sought out the answer, and had the truck x-rayed.
"There's nothing in it," Eaton says. "But there's something very hazy in the x-ray."
But the story doesn't end there.
In the early 1900s, the top of the original flag pole at the Arsenal was moved down the road to quarters one, where it still stands today, untouched and unchecked by those defending the Rock Island Arsenal.
"That truck is a pretty good size ball up there," says Eaton. "If it's hollow, you could get some things in there."
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