John White (with the artistry help of National Awards) has designed a new club banner for use when visiting other clubs. The practice of trading these 7-in. by 9-in. flags has dropped off here in the U.S. in recent years, but still seems to be popular with international clubs. If you are planning to visit another Rotary club outside the United States, please plan to take one with you. See John White or Dave Williams at an upcoming meeting.
In the ABCs of Rotary, PRIP Cliff Dochterman, writes:
Exchange of Club Banners
One of the colorful traditions of many Rotary clubs is the exchange of small banners, flags or pennants. Rotarians traveling to distant locations often take banners to exchange at “make-up” meetings as a token of friendship. Many clubs use the decorative banners they have received for attractive displays at club meetings and district events.
The Rotary International board recognized the growing popularity of the banner exchange back in 1959 and suggested that those clubs that participate in such exchanges give careful thought to the design of their banners in order that they be distinctive and expressive of the community and country of which the club is a part. It is recommended that banners include pictures, slogans or designs that portray the territorial area of the club.
The board was also mindful of the financial burden such exchanges may impose upon some clubs, especially in popular areas where many visitors make up and request to exchange. In all instances, clubs are cautioned to exercise discretion and moderation in the exchange of banners in order that the financial obligations do not interfere with the basic service activities of the club.
Exchanging club banners is a very pleasant custom, especially when a creative and artistic banner tells an interesting story of community pride. The exchange of banners is a significant tradition of Rotary and serves as a tangible symbol of our international fellowship.