The Scott Frost era at Nebraska will — potentially — kick off with a record-setting weekend for Husker Nation.
Armed with 315,000 red and white toy plastic bricks, University of Nebraska–Lincoln student John Lang will lead the Aug. 31 construction of a 1,700-square-foot Nebraska “N” mosaic on the Meier Commons greenspace north of the Nebraska Union. Designed as a way to celebrate Frost’s first game as the Huskers’ head football coach, the Big Red Husker Flag project is taking aim at setting a Guinness World Record while raising money for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.
“When it is finished, the Big Red Husker Flag project will be twice as big as the current world record,” said the sophomore business major from Omaha. “This started as a fun way to honor the hiring of Scott Frost. But, ultimately, I hope to collect at least one dollar for each of the 90,000 seats in Memorial Stadium and raise awareness about the work at St. Jude’s.”
The project is Lang’s second record-setting project using plastic bricks — like Lego, or in this case, Mega Construx bricks — each measuring in at 3.2 centimeters long by 1.6 centimeters wide and 1.1 centimeters tall. His last build of a giant American flag in Omaha on Memorial Day weekend in 2017 set the Guinness World Record for largest image every built with the bricks. That project raised funds to support charities for U.S. veterans and first responders.
While the first build led Lang to a lifelong goal to be included in the Guinness record books, he said the work has provided unexpected professional benefits.
“These projects have helped me a lot with public speaking and becoming better organized overall,” Lang said. “They also have led me to become a stronger leader.”
The Big Red Husker Flag project will be slightly smaller than the 331,000 bricks used in the flag. However, the size of the red field with an iconic Nebraska “N” will more than double the current Guinness record for a brick build involving a mosaic.
“If we’re successful this weekend, I’ll have the record in two slightly different categories,” Lang said. “The image category is for an image — like the American flag — that is recognizable by almost anyone. The mosaic category is for an image or logo that not everyone may immediately recognize.”
For the campus project, Lang has partnered with Tau Kappa Epsilon. His older brother, Tony Lang, a senior microbiology major, is a member of the fraternity.
The Mega Blocks for the project were donated by Mattel. Assistance with the overall design was provided by Advanced Engineering Systems in Lincoln.
The build, which will be completed in 40 inch by 80 inch sections, will start at 9 a.m., require at least 200 volunteers and take a minimum of four hours to complete. The flag project, which was delayed by storms, was finished in about nine hours. Many of the bricks are being repurposed from the U.S. flag design.
The Big Red Husker Flag will be on display through the morning of Sept. 2.
Lang and others will document the project along with at least two independent observers. All information gathered will be sent to Guinness to be considered for the record books.
Students, faculty, staff and members of the public can participate in the Husker Flag fundraiser by assisting with the build or by donating funds. Volunteers can also assist with removal of the Husker Flag starting at noon, Sept. 2.
“You can volunteer and give donations online or show up and do both the day we’re working,” Lang said. “We encourage everyone to participate. It’ you have a couple of hours or just a few minutes, every bit helps.”