A flutter sign of the times

And a sandwich worth the admission fee

Avatar photo
Avatar photo

It’s hard to generalize about Southern roadside restaurants, but the reductive exercise may have gotten simpler this summer: A startling number of casual eating places are now soliciting potential customers with feather signs.

If you haven’t yet noticed the distinctive vertical signs heralding newly-opened restaurants—along with used car lots, vape shops, and other businesses appealing to the simplest instincts of passers-by—you won’t be able to stop seeing them now. While the signs known variously as feather, teardrop, flutter, quill, or swooper flags have been around for as long as most sign sellers can remember, they’ve become enormously popular since 2020.


This Article is included for subscribers to South Edition and our All-Access Plan.


Help us cover food and drink across the American South as though it mattered as much as crime and politics (because it does.)