Culminating Project Title
Date of Award
Culminating Project Type
College of Liberal Arts
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.
Chappell, Polly, "Pandemic, Political, and Protest Yard Signs in Sartell, Minnesota, Spring 2020 to mid-November 2020: Personal Narrative, Rhetorical Analysis, and Oral Histories from Community Members" (2022). Culminating Projects in English. 14.