Pennant Sign Explained: What Does a Pennant Shaped Road Sign Mean?

by Zutobi · Updated Jun 14, 2021

Road signs come in different sizes, shapes, and colors as regulated by the federal government. Each shape is unique for a specific purpose and will alert a driver of a change in the road environment, whether it warns of a hazard ahead, a speed limit change, or a no-passing zone.

In this article you’ll learn everything about what a pennant road sign is, what it means, and what type of sign it is.

In most states, the written DMV knowledge test will contain at least one question about the shape and color of road signs.

What Is a Pennant Sign?

A pennant shaped road sign

A pennant shaped road sign is a warning sign, and it is used for a single purpose: to mark the start of a no-passing zone. The pennant shaped sign is always yellow with black text and placed on the left side of the road, never on the right side.

The reason it is placed on the left side of the road is that the pennant sign is often complemented by a regulatory white and black “do not pass”-sign on the right side of the road.

You usually find a pennant sign to the left and a “do not pass”-sign to the right

In most no-passing zones, you will find that the pennant sign is accompanied by a solid yellow line in your lane to indicate that passing is prohibited.

The solid yellow line along with the pennant shaped sign and the “do not pass” sign are used together to help all drivers understand the message of staying on the right side and not passing other vehicles.

What Does a No-Passing Zone Mean?

A no-passing zone means that you must not pass other vehicles by crossing over the centerline. However, there are always one or two exceptions to any rule.

You may be allowed to drive over the yellow center lines in very specific circumstances. For example, in most states it is allowed to cross the center line:

  1. To pass an obstacle on the right side of the road
  2. To widen the gap to a bicyclist or pedestrian for their safety

If you must cross the center line, use great caution!

Can I Turn Left In A No-Passing Zone?

A no-passing zone strictly enforces a “no-passing”-prohibition, but it does not specify anything against turning. In most states, you may cross a solid yellow center line on your side of the road to turn into:

  • A private road
  • A driveway
  • An alley

This applies even within a no-passing zone – but display great caution as the no-passing zone is there for a reason and any traffic on the wrong side of the road will face greater danger than is normal.

How Many Pennant Shaped Signs Are There?

There is only one type of pennant shaped sign. This is so you’ll instantly know that you’re entering a no-passing zone (even if you cannot read the text on the sign) when seeing any sign shaped like a pennant.

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