Some Chicago Cubs fans noted on social media Saturday evening that they were unable to bring their unmistakable “W” flags into Nationals Park for Game 2 of the National League Divisional Series against the Nationals.
This isn’t a new policy, nor is it targeted at any specific fan base or any specific type of banner. The Nats devote 550 words of their Guest Conduct Policy to banners and signs, noting that the rules are meant to ensure that signs and banners “do not distract from the enjoyment” of the game.
Among other rules — prohibiting signs supported by wood or metal, signs that obstruct sightlines, signs that obscure advertising or baseball park signage, and signs bearing messages that are slanderous, obscene, commercial or derogatory — the policy specifies that signs “be no larger than 2 feet by 4 feet.”
While the policy says that the Nationals “reserve the right to remove any display of a banner or sign that does not conform to these limitations, or require a guest to immediately stop displaying the nonconforming banner or sign,” the team first asks fans to check nonconforming banners, signs or flags at their guest services office, where they can be claimed after the game. This policy has also been applied to Curly W flags, and was not changed for the playoffs, or because of the Cubs. There were indeed some Cubs flags in Nats Park during Friday’s Game 1 so it seems the process is evidently not perfect.