Last week, I went to my third Metro station opening at Potomac Yard VT. My first was the Orange Line completion to Vienna. My dad took my brother and I to that one. I didn’t have a blog then, though I commemorated it on the 20th anniversary.

In 2014, I took my sons and wife to the opening of the first phase of the Silver Line. This past November, several days after the second phase of the Silver Line opened, I took my youngest son, wife and friend Luigi. He treated us for lunch.

Festive signs

Welcome to your Silver Line station sign. This Metro line opened in July 2014.

The 2014 Silver Line opening had a welcome sign in all the stations. I thought nothing of the red bow and ribbon on the sign then.

Welcome to your new Silver Line Station sign at Ashburn Metro.

In 2022, at the Silver Line completion, I did notice the silver bow and ribbon. I went to back and compared it to 2014. WMATA was more on brand with the color section this time. The bow was more ornate too.

Sign welcoming customers to the Potomac Yard VT Metro station in Alexandria, Va.

I was curious how the Potomac Yard station would be handled since both the Blue and Yellow lines are served by it. Both were represented on the welcome sign, though yellow was more prominent. Other promotional areas were generally yellow too. Actual ribbons and bows were displayed too (see feature photo).

Perhaps it was because yellow is more eye-catching or just because the Yellow Line was reopened about two weeks earlier after rehabilitation.

From 2013: WMATA’s new Metro map with Silver Line released

Previous openings

I don’t recall any ribbons or bows at the Orange Line completion, though it was a while ago. While there were many more openings, most were in the 20th century before widespread digital photography. I did not attend any of them. Even the NoMa-Galludet (then New York Ave.) opening was still during the web 1.0 days of 2004. A cursory search of images, including’s extensive archive, didn’t yield any examples.1


Metro may not have always used ribbons and bows, but it has always used pennants to celebrate major events like groundbreakings and service openings. The Post (soft paywall) covered this in 2014: Metro’s pennants way predate the Silver Line (which is a month old already!). We didn’t get a Silver Line Phase 2 pennant, unfortunately.


1 arrived in the early days of the internet and is still going strong. The coverage of subways outside of New York, like DC, is also strong.

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