Alternative banner pole for GA?

Environmentally speaking, PVC is not a good product, but nevertheless each year at General Assembly hundreds of banner carriers process in the opening ceremony carrying banner poles made of PVC pipe. Since they’re cheap and easy to make (but quite bulky) I have to think that relatively few make it home for reuse. And it seems green issues are being taken seriously at GA this year.

Plus, I think they’re pretty ugly, and a heavy (say, quilted) banner can be unwieldy given the banner pole’s cantilevered yet slippery jointed design. Heck, even a draft in the plenary hall can make banners yaw wildly. Does anyone know of an alternative, either made or bought? It shouldn’t be terribly expensive and should be reusable and able to fit in a piece of checked luggage.Please comment.

Current banner pole directions (PDF format)

By Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.


  1. Hmmm, something to think about. At first, I’d say that it should be possible to make one out of aluminum tent poles, but I’d have to actually do it to be sure. (You can get spare tent pole parts from Eureka and other tent manufacturers, so this would also be doable in large scale without finding a lot of used tents.) While aluminum takes a lot of energy to mine, it is easily recyclable — and certainly more “green” than PVC, which is frankly evil. If I find the time to build a prototype, I’ll post something.

    What I’d really like to do is build one out of bamboo (biodegradable, quick-growing, etc.), but that’s the kind of thing that would take some specialized skills. Maybe some woodworker out there could start building bamboo banner carriers….

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.