Sometimes there is a wrong way to give someone the middle finger, and then there are brilliant ways that involve art, skirting the laws, and drawing national attention to your cause. Let me tell you the story of Westford, Vermont native, Ted Pelkey and his giant statue shaped like a middle finger.

The town of Westford, Vermont and Pelkey have long argued regarding a permit he wants for an 8,000 square-foot garage he intends to build on his property. So when Pelkey was recently denied his long pending request, he flipped off his overcoat, put his finger on an idea, and it soared like a bird.

Ted Pelkey erects giant middle finger sculpture in dispute with the town of Westford, Vermont.
Courtesy of Ted Pelkey
Ted Pelkey erects giant middle finger sculpture in dispute with the town of Westford, Vermont.
Courtesy of Ted Pelkey
Ted Pelkey erects giant middle finger sculpture in dispute with the town of Westford, Vermont.
Courtesy of Ted Pelkey

Puns aside, he hoisted a 700-pound block of pine carved into an elegant middle finger sitting on a pedestal 16-feet up in the air, aimed it at the town, and surrounded it with floodlights. On one hand, the act may seem like an audaciously childish move, but hey, we’re here talking about it, and his bold feat is making people think. This simplistic design makes a statement that crosses cultures and demographics – it is relatable all around the world.

Using design to bolster a cause is nothing new, and Pelkey used that to his advantage. Since it’s not an advertisement and because it is on his own property, the skyward middle finger is a symbol of art and expression, thereby protected by his right to free speech.

It turns out that $4,000 and a beautiful solid piece of pine will get you a gorgeous sculpture of a middle finger that you can erect towards your enemies. Oh man, this makes me want to take up wood carving in the worst way.

Author

Ryan is the content guy at Rareview and thankfully, not related to the Pearsons. Bringing over a decade of writing to the table, as well as a hefty pour of bourbon, his delusions of grandeur keep him writing and drinking.

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