These signs often have a humerous side to them - something with which the Fat Badgers hold dear as humour plays a big part of any evening spent in a British inn - well it does if you go drinking with Fat Badger Ade anyway.
The Romans used to denote the trade or profession of the occupants of a building by hanging items outside. Some houses would in a similar fashion, hang a sign outside to indicate what could be found inside. Inns often change their names and for very many reasons.
In modern times, the multi national companies come up with ridiculous names such as 'Cheekys Fun Bar' & 'Bar Zar' or a Landlord may rename his pub after 'himself' but generally most renaming is for a genuine reason for which the landlord or brewery feels should receive recognition. Some may feel that a modern day sporting hero is not as worthy as a great British war hero and maybe in time 'The Ian Botham' will not be as easily recognisable as 'The Lord Nelson' but the Fat Badgers would rather see either of these than the 'Vavoom Music Video Bar'
Although many pub names can be quite obvious such as 'The Ferry Inn', others may need some explanation such as 'The Nobody Inn' in Doddiscombleigh in Devon.
In 1393, during the reign of Richard II, a law was passed to make
pub signs compulsory. This was in order make them easily visible to passing inspectors of the quality of the ale they provided. At this time, water was not always good to drink and ale was the usual replacement.
To this day, the Pub Sign is a most important part of the inn, apart from the tradition, colour & humour, it also often makes an inn easy to identify from a distance. So if you're travelling at great speed on a main road (just under the speed limit of course) seeing a colourful pub sign from afar can ensure that you don't miss out on a cracking lunch stop at one of the UK's great contry establishments.
There is even an inn sign society which you can join and if you wish you could even get your own sign painted by one of the master craftsmen still around creating Britain's newest masterpieces - such as Graeme Robbins - you would of course have to invite the Fat Badgers round for a drink if you hang it outside your house !