Flagpole Magazine

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Flagpole Magazine
Flagpole front page.jpg
The September 27, 2006 front page of
Flagpole Magazine
TypeAlternative weekly
Owner(s)Flagpole, Inc.
PublisherPete McCommons
EditorPete McCommons
Headquarters220 Prince Avenue
Athens, GA 30603
United States
OCLC number30323514

Flagpole Magazine, often abbreviated to simply Flagpole, is an American alternative newsweekly that focuses on the cultural, liberal scene of Athens, Georgia and its surrounding communities. It was founded by Jared Bailey and Dennis Greenia in 1984 and is currently edited and published by Pete McCommons. The publication covers local music, politics, news, features and news related to the town that is also the home of the University of Georgia. Although nationwide delivery to paid subscribers is available, it is distributed free of charge to over 275 locations throughout the Athens area, earning the bulk of its revenue through the sale of advertising space.

Flagpole is also a place many young journalists/writers and artists have found a home for their passion. Flagpole is a springboard for many of them as they move through the world and make their mark. Many are students at the University of Georgia that find working with Flagpole exhilarating, adventurous and with a deep connection to the Athens community - business, political, artistic, musical and otherwise. But covering music and the arts in Athens is what many outside of Athens know about. Ask any record company publicist about Athens and they will know of Flagpole.

Working at Flagpole led many to fulfilling careers as writers, curators, artists, teachers, editors, etc. Those that "graduated" from Flagpole found careers with the New York Times, LA Times, Reuters, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, CNN, Guggenheim Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Augusta Chronicle, Athens Banner-Herald, public schools, New York University, as writers, editors, publishers, photographers, Web editors, videographers, curators, teachers and so forth.

While Flagpole originally began in a tiny office with no air conditioning on the side of a bike shop it now resides in a 100-year-old plus house off Prince Ave. Many stories can be told about the life of Flagpole, its people, history and events. It's an amazing feat that Flagpole even exists today with the market being what it is for print. Few alternative publications remain. Even Atlanta's Creative Loafing has lessened their publishing schedule and sold to an outside firm (Ben Eason, the son of the original owners, purchased it back in 2017).

In addition to its weekly issues, Flagpole, Inc. also publishes the annual Flagpole Guide to Athens, a listing of bars, restaurants, and entertainment options in Athens. It also is distributed free throughout the area. Flagpole holds an annual Music Awards show and has crowned such bands as Of Montreal, Elf Power, Vic Chesnutt, Widespread Panic, R.E.M., Olivia Tremor Control and many others. Flagpole once created Christmas CDs for several years in a row that featured many Athens local bands performing various holiday songs including one CD of spoken-word material. The Mother of All Flagpole Christmas Albums can be purchased on Amazon and features the best version ever of "You're a Mean One Mr. Grinch" by the LaBrea Stompers. The Flagpole Christmas Album featured Drive-By Truckers performing "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer."

Past editors/managing editors include Jared Bailey, Dennis Greenia, Cybele Lange, Stephen Crawford, Catherine Holmes, Richard Fausett, Stephanie Holmes, Robin Littlefield and Margaret Moore. Music editors include Hillary Meister, Marc Pilvinsky, Jason Slatton, Ballard Lesemann, Matt Thompson, Sarah Lee, Chris Hassiotis, Michelle Gilzenrat and Gabe Vodicka. Others who gave Flagpole blood, sweat and tears include Lisa May, Diane Nuter, Bill Overend, Henry Owings, Katherine Yeske, JD Hollingsworth, William Orten Carlton, Alicia Nickles, Larry Tenner, Lance Bangs and so many others (of which they're invited to add their names (and links) here).

Migraine Boy was one of the comic strips within the magazine.[2]


  1. ^ "Flagpole Magazine". Association of Alternative Newsweeklies. Archived from the original on 2007-02-17. Retrieved 2007-01-19.
  2. ^ "transcript of an interview conducted by Molly McCommons" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-11-08.

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