Large flags displaying selling messages at a car lot.

Town Staff Recommends Allowing Fluttering Signs

The town of Colonial Beach is holding a public hearing on the matter of allowing business to use temporary fluttering signs to advertise business. This topic was rather a hot one years ago and put many business owners and residents in flutter of arguments concerning the use of these signs for advertising.

It was argued that aside from the risk of these flags being left up when they had become unsightly, there were concerns that they would create a distraction for drivers and lead to accidents.


Several public hearings and many hours were spent by Planning Commission Members and Council Members to revise and restrict many of these types of “distracting signage” from being allowed in town when the debate was hot years ago.

Now a brand new council and town staff will determine if these signs can be used on a temporary basis for business owners.

The town report states, “The most substantive change proposed in Article 12 is the addition of Section 12-7(B) (Temporary Signs) that permits the temporary installation of “fluttering signs” (e.g., flags/signs that flutter or rotate) for the purpose of attracting public attention. As proposed, fluttering signs would be permitted in each zoning district with specific standards to regulate their use.”


Currently the use of these fluttering flag/signs are prohibited. Town staff reports that the planning commission has reviewed the matter and determined that these signs would be beneficial. The Planning Commission held a public hearing on the matter on the January 26, during their regular meeting. No public comment was made on the draft revisions to the ordinance and the commission was satisfied with the changes. The Planning Commission voted 5 to 1 to recommend approval with one commissioner being absent.

The Town Staff Report states that “Permitting the temporary use of fluttering signs will result in additional, new, revenue for the Colonial Beach General Fund through the issuance of additional, temporary, sign permits for this type of signage as it is not currently permitted in Town.”


The Town Council will hold a public hearing on the proposed changes during their Regular Feb 15th Meeting. The council is expected to vote on the matter after the hearing and council discussions.

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