Introduction: Sound-Generating Protest Flag

About: Designer: Industrial, Graphic, Other.

The Protest Flag is designed to create a collective voice amongst protest participants, while also allowing each protester to graphically display an individualized message.

With two banners, the flag becomes a reed-percussion hybrid instrument. As wind passes between the two banners, the flag generates a loud, insect-like sound.

Differences between designs leads to different sound qualities. A powerful and percussive presence emerges when a multitude of flags are activated.

Step 1: Get Some Dowels

For the flag pole/handle, I chose a 5/8" pine dowel from home depot, but anything will do. Broomsticks, sawed-off golf clubs, fishing poles, thinner closet rods-- most likely you already have the handle for your flag lying around the house. The pole is best around 48" long.

Then find two thinner sticks-- about the diameter of a pencil, only longer. Again, I grabbed to wooden dowels from home depot: 5/16" diameter, cut to 18" long. The length of these sticks will be the height of your flag, plus 3/4" on each end for attaching the banners to your pole. Again, anything will do.

Step 2: Cut Banners, Affix Them to Dowels

Get some banner material, and cut two pieces. The height should be the length of your attachment dowels, plus 1.5" (Less .75” on top and bottom). I chose to use drafting film for its peculiar wap-wap-wap sound; other materials will sound differently, but are equally effective.

Standard flag nylon, fedex shipping packets, thin sheets of plastic and vinyl plastic-- all this stuff works. Have fun experimenting to get your preferred sound.

Attach the banners to the sticks. I simply folded one edge of the banner around the thin dowel, and used staples. You could also use glue, rivets, or sew them on-- whatever works.

Step 3: Make Mounts to Attach Banners to Handle

Make mounting pieces to attach your two banners to the flag pole. I made mine on a bandsaw with two pieces of scrap pine, but you could make yours any number of ways. The most important thing is to locate the banner sticks behind your flag pole, and to space them by about .25". You can see how I notched my mounting part so that a spacer .25" wide protrudes from each piece by about .5". Make too big of a spacer, and your flag will not chatter.

Step 4: Assemble Pieces

Attach the banners to the flagpole mounts. I thought that heavy duty rubber bands worked the best-- but you could use string, or more permanent fasteners. I like the rubber bands because they easily allow for banners to be swapped out or repaired.

Step 5: Spread the Word!

You now have a protest flag, which you can customize with a specific message. Share the idea: protest flag works best with friends.

Please send pictures of your homemade protest flags, and I'll post them!