The creation of signs and banners is as old as communication itself. Indeed there are cave drawings in southern France which were perhaps drawn by a Neanderthal depicting the hunt of some prehistoric beast resembling a buffalo. This depiction could very easily be considered a sign or banner (albeit in primitive form), perhaps not for the purposes of commercial advertising but certainly for the purposes of advertising of another sort. For advertising is simply another form of communication designed to influence the viewer of the advertising.
Indeed, when that primitive (by our standards) Neanderthal took up his charcoal and colored berries and by the light of his flickering fire pit crafted those images upon the stone cave wall what he was attempting to do was to send out a message through time and space. The message he sent through time is still being communicated to us this very day because we can still see the images he created this very day. This is the power of communication that can be unleashed through the use of signs and banners.
The question is, however, what is the message the Neanderthal intended to communicate and if his communication was advertising, in what way was he attempting to influence us is this modern age? Perhaps the Neanderthal intended to express that he had accomplished a specific task (i.e., the hunting and killing of the buffalo). Perhaps there was some other message the Neanderthal wished to communicate through time and space. Unfortunately we will never know with certainty what the message was because he lacked the written language to communicate specific ideas. It is possible he only wanted to express himself artistically. This is yet another use to which a sign or banner can be put to use. As such, signs and banners are not only powerful but they are also versatile as well.