Think back to a time long before cell phones.
Think further back to a time long before portable radios.
It’s the 1930s or 40s, and you are riding from your work in “de Loop” or a nearby factory to your home on “de nort side.”
It’s late afternoon and the Cubs play all their home games in the afternoon.
By 5pm, the game should be over, So, who won?
To answer that question for fans on the “el” (the elevated train), going past Wrigley field, the Cubs starting flying a “W” flag in the 1930s.
It was visible from the tracks, so fans could see the good news–if there was any.
They even had a “L” flag, which, unfortunately, got lots more use for 108 years.
The Cubs installed spotlights aimed at the flag so riders at night could see the results, too.
When you see the “W” flags flying or being waved by the faithful, think about generations of disappointed Cubs fans riding home on the El, hoping that Jimmie Foxx or, later, Ernie Banks, had belted one and the flag was flying.