The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type




Degree Name

English: M.A.




College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

Jamie Heiman

Second Advisor

Matt Barton

Third Advisor

Aref Hassan

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

pandemic, politics, social justice, protests, yard signs, George Floyd


In 2020, there was a trifecta of events that spurred yard signs to multiply in yards in the suburban community of Sartell in central Minnesota. Covid restrictions, a divisive presidential election, and the violence from the death of George Floyd who was murdered by the police in Minneapolis 80 miles away, motivated people to communicate via yard signs, flags, and window messages. Through rhetorical analysis and oral histories, I looked at the role of the signs and the way that people in the community observed these signs and images. In my analysis I found that people viewed the signs as communication during social distancing, as building community with like-minded neighbors, and as an authentic and artistic experience. I interviewed seven community members for their oral histories regarding yard signs and images during Covid. The narrators talked about their experiences and although their political and pandemic ideals varied, everyone who talked about the Justice for George Floyd signs, agreed that what happened so close to home was an important time for social justice and change in Central Minnesota.