EA Week banners remain respectfully controversial

Last year’s banner from the class of 2022 – Mr. Thomas Stambaugh

In the spirit of EA Week competitions, upper school artists compete in banner making. Members from each form design banners with jokes and clever depictions to bash EA and support the Fords. The banners are judged prior to EA Day, and the form with most clever and unique banner takes home the victory.

     This tradition began over a decade ago, implemented by Art Department Chair Mr. Christopher Fox.

“We developed activities [such as banner painting] to try to build a sense of community, keep it positive, and support the athletes.”

Art department chair Mr. Chris Fox

     “When I first came here I don’t remember if there were any spirit week events,” Mr. Fox said. “We developed activities [such as banner painting] to try to build a sense of community, keep it positive, and support the athletes. [The banners] started off with cheap brown paper. It looked horrible.”

Last year’s banner from the Class of 2021 – Mr. Thomas Stambaugh

     The tradition began with students making a banner as an advisory, but it has since developed into one in which students may design banners at their own will. Students spend many hours out of their days to design the best banner possible.

     Fourth Former Luke Parsells, a first-time banner designer said, “I expect to prepare the banner with a different and original style.”

     “I’m very excited to have this opportunity to work with the banner program this year,” Parsells said. “I hope we can make an interesting banner that can show our support for our teams.” 

     Many note the fine line between respectful banter and too much. Last year, an incident unsettled some members of the Episcopal community when one of the banners appeared to show The Episcopal Academy chapel in flames. 

     Although many may have misinterpreted the painting, Mr. Fox made the intentions of the artist clear. 

     “The Chapel in that painting was not burning. Yes, there was an explosion, but the Chapel itself was intact,” Mr. Fox said.

 “We try to poke fun at ourselves.”

Mr. Chris Fox

     To allow the competition to continue in the years to come, Mr. Fox has set guidelines that will ensure no more misconceptions in the future. 

     “We try to poke fun at ourselves,” Mr. Fox said. “We don’t depict specific EA people.”

Author: Ryan Rodack '22

Ryan serves as an Editor-in-Chief for and is in his fourth year working for The Index. He previously served as the arts section editor and a managing editor. In the spring of 2021, Ryan earned recognition from the Scholastic Writing Awards for for his piece features piece, “Mr. Andrén pursues his dream job.” Ryan most frequently covers the sports, features, and news sections in his writing.