COLUMBUS, Indiana — Organizations using downtown banners to raise awareness for specific causes will have to find other locations after the city on Tuesday approved changes to its banner program.

Community organizations that had used banners lining Washington Street to raise awareness for their causes are going to have to re-visit their marketing plans.

That’s because the Columbus Board of Works has changed its downtown banner policy, voting Tuesday to revert to the program’s original intent from the 1990s.

Starting Jan. 1, banners will be required to promote the downtown area, encourage tourism and be event-specific, said Robin Hilber, the city’s community development programs coordinator.

What will be allowed:

Banners that represent or promote non-profit cultural or civic events that are event-specific and promote the downtown area. Examples include Neighborfest, Farmers Market, Biggest Block Party, Ethnic Expo and Mill Race Marathon

What will be banned:

Commercial advertising, political candidates or parties, issues considered controversial in nature which promote or incite civil disorder and are not community-event specific, in addition to general-recognition banners which, although supporting worthy causes, are not event-specific.

Read more in Wednesday’s print edition of The Republic

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Matt Kent is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at 812-379-5712 or