The obvious way to carry a banner is with a pole held between two marchers with others walking behind it gripping the pole. Alas, in today’s world of protests and counter-protests confrontations happen. Police often ban any objects that could become a weapon like a stick or pole.
This rig was devised to eliminate the need for a pole. It uses rope and elastic bungees suspended between two shoulder harnesses. (All of the materials were purchased at the local Ace Hardware in Newtown.) The marcher dons a harness by placing it over his or her head and then putting one arm through. You can decide what’s most comfortable, but the pressure of the strap should be on your shoulder and the side of your chest — NOT your neck! The strap should not cross the front of your throat for obvious reasons.
How it works.
As we walk we sway from side to side. The bungees help to keep the banner taught with each stride. It helps to march in step. The rope threads through the ties or grommets nearest the center of the banner to support the middle and keep the banner’s edge straight. The number of center loops or grommets that the rope passes through will depend on how many marchers walk behind it and hold up the rope — experiment.
Gusts of wind will tend to blow the bottom edge and keep the banner from draping properly. You can weight the bottom corners to prevent this, but then you will have to lug that weight as you march. If you are walking into the wind, have people walk behind the banner letting their legs keep it vertical. You might want to have a couple of pairs of old socks to make improvised sand-bag corner weights if they are needed … or maybe a couple of skate boards tethered close to the bottom hem? Improvise.
Banners are sails, and the harness ties you to the sail. I used quick release clips on the harnesses so the wearer could escape quickly if things go wrong.