A flutter sign of the times

And a sandwich worth the admission fee

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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.

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