The sign says "Word of Honor." The small letters indicate a special day to honor an official, and provide the date: Winter of Guangxu 25th year (1899) This sign was probably placed in a hall where the recipient might have presided as an official.
The paint history on this sign is interesting. My belief is that the whole sign was painted in a base color of black. Black became the primary color of the beaded border. The sign was then painted red and the large letters painted yellow over both the red and black. As the sign aged, most of the gold has worn off. The red has also worn so much that black shows through it. The black border has been re-painted.
Dimensions: 18" x 63" x 3"