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The Stories Behind the Vinyl Banners in Historic Downtown Franklin

Posted on November 14, 2014 | Posted by Kris Williamson

If you have driven down Main Street in Franklin or traveled around the historic downtown area, you've probably noticed the vinyl banners hanging on posts along the roadside. The Sesquicentennial banners pay tribute to twelve of the significant people who were impacted by the Battle of Franklin. The banners were beautifully designed by our friends at Birdsong Creative, an artistic Branding agency here in Franklin, for the Franklin Sesquicentennial - Franklin 150 campaign. Birdsong Creative is the Agency of Record for the Williamson County Convention and Visitors Bureau (WCCVB), and we were lucky enough to fabricate the banners for them that help commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Franklin

Franklin 150 Banner. 12-Point SignWorksOne of the Franklin 150 banners in downtown Franklin, Tennessee.
(Photo Courtesy of the Franklin Home Page)

Our historic city is filled with antebellum homes, National Register of Historic Places plaques, parks, landmarks and cemeteries that tell portions of Franklin's story in the American Civil War. The outdoor banners refer to the more personal stories - the tales of some of the individuals who witnessed, fought, died, survived and were impacted by the five hours that saw so much bloodshed. All of the banners include the same request: Try to imagine... How do we even begin to image? Here are a few of the featured banners and the tales they tell. 

Franklin 150 Banner of Carrie McGavock. 12-Point SignWorks

Carrie McGavock, the wife of John McGavock, called the Carnton Plantation home. It was her home that became the largest field hospital in the area in the days following the Battle of Franklin. She helped comfort and care for the wounded and dying Confederate soldiers and, at one point, had the remains of four Confederate generals on her back porch. She later maintained the 2-acre cemetery that her family donated for the almost 1,500 Confederate soldiers buried there. She kept a record of the soldiers' identities and communicated with their families until her death in 1905. 


Franklin 150 Banner of ANC Williams. 12-Point SignWorks

A.N.C. Williams was a local businessman in Franklin; however, his life began very differently. He was born into slavery in 1844, in Spring Hill, TN. He moved to Franklin at the age of six. This amazing man learned how to read and write and also built an honorable reputation of being very trustworthy among both the black and white communities in Franklin. Upon emancipation in 1863, he opened up his first business, a shoe repair shop, in downtown Franklin. He continued being a very trusted and respected resident of Franklin, and eventually built and opened a general merchandise store on Main Street. For over sixty years, he managed his store before retiring in 1928.

Franklin 150 Banner of Major Arthur MacArthur. 12-Point SignWorks


Major Arthur MacArthur was one of the youngest officers in the Battle of Franklin. He sustained multiple gunshot wounds while stationed near The Carter House. A few of his men from the Wisconsin 24th Infantry carried him off of the battlefield to safety, which likely is the only reason he survived the battle. He and his son, General Douglas MacArthur, are recognized as the first father and son to both be awarded the Medal of Honor. 


Now for our part in fabricating the banners...The banners were digitally printed on 18 ounce heavy duty scrim vinyl with pole pockets on the top and bottom. Scrim vinyl is a polyethylene substrate, reinforced with polyester cording. The cording strengthens the vinyl to be able to withstand high winds and ever-changing weather conditions. The smooth surface of the vinyl provides the perfect media for crisp graphics and text that look great and stay that way. The banners were printed on both sides so that they can be viewed from all angles of the roadside. The banners will stay on display until April 2015, signifying the 150th Anniversary of the end of the American Civil War. For more stories, visit this website that describes all twelve of the Franklin 150 Banners.

Through the efforts of the WCCVB, the Battle of Franklin Trust, Franklin's Charge and the Heritage Foundation, our historic city is working together to preserve and honor the sites that make up the Franklin battlefield. By doing so, our historic city will be able to better tell the story of the Battle of Franklin to the thousands of visitors that travel to Franklin every year. Can you imagine? Visit Franklin's historic places to help you try! 

Are you looking for your own outdoor vinyl banners or other outdoor signage? Let us know! We are always here to help you make something memorable. 

Do you need outdoor signage? Contact us today to help you create  something special!

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