You know, we haven’t had a good Flag Drama in a while . . .

You know, we haven’t had a good Flag Drama in a while . . .

Postby DirtyMartini on 02 Mar 2008 17:38

Sorry to be out here spewing flag all over the place, but a bunch of you both publicly and privately have asked me to comment on this request for fan photo/flag photo submissions dealio – so you’ve got no one to blame but yourselves for the following tome.

[Caveat lector: For the sake of covering my and everyone else’s asses, please let me remind all that I speak for no one but myself. I don’t speak for I don’t speak for Giovanni or Eugenio. I don’t speak for Stewart. I don’t speak for any of you. Each of you must choose for yourself. Dig?]

Sorry folks but I never got the memo about not touching the fl– wait, hang on –

(Wrong controversy.)

So who’d a thunk that that daft green gift of ours would turn into such a global conversation piece, eh? That naughty little monkey (not you, Stewart) just can’t keep itself out of a good ol’ fashion ballyhoo.

Starting with the upside . . .

That the flag has made such an incredible impact on so many (both inside and outside and has become an integral part of The Police Tour completely blows my mind. People’s love for and experiences with that damn fool thing (not you, Stewart) have been an incredible bonus that no one could possibly have predicted. Thanks to the onstage antics of that damn fool thing (please don’t smite me, Stewart), folks from all over the world have come together in such a remarkable way that not even Tourzilla can deny it.

So do I jump and shout (as Giovanni suggested) to hear that Stewart is on official film talking about the flag? Absolutely. So long as he’s not filing any restraining orders, I think it’s lovely. Am I, as xyzman suggested, “pretty damned chuffed that an idea that sprang from this board has taken on a life of its own”? When that nasty little creature (not you, Stewart) isn’t giving me heartburn, yes. Absolutely. No question about it.

But will I personally be submitting photos to No.

There are just so many issues tied together in this TP photo request that I can’t seem to talk about it without a dozen pages, multiple drafts, plaster tire tracks, foot prints, and 27 8x10 color glossy photographs with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one. But the way that I see it, there are two main issues that take precedence:

Big issue #1 that we’re talking about here is content. Free content. Generated by fans. Profiting a corporation. (Where’s that Norma Rae avatar?)

This topic has been pretty well explored already, so I’ll save you all my version of this speech. The one thing that I do want to mention, as it will affect the flag issue in particular, is that people are not annoyed merely because they are being asked to provide photos without compensation. Hell, these photos have been posted all over the net for free and will amount to little more than space filler on the DVD; they are not, after all, the main focus. But the larger and louder issue here -- whether rational or not -- that is tied into this seemingly innocuous little request is that the request is being made to generate pure, unadulterated profit for a huge and hateful Conglomerate of Suck. (Seriously, where’s that Norma Rae avatar?)

As Lynne mentioned, many will see their photos on an official DVD as compensation enough for their work. That is absolutely their right, and I respect anyone who so chooses. (In fact, I might encourage any struggling photographers out there to use this opportunity to bulk up their resumes.) As for me, can – and I mean this in the most legal sense -- bite me.

So how does the flag fit in? It starts off with the same main issue: it’s free content. Generated by fans. Profiting -- well . . .

Remember Stewart’s oft-used soundbite about how he and his musician friends stole punk from the younger kids that invented it? Someone else had done the ground-breaking, but they came along bigger and badder and co-opted it for themselves and profited from it.

As I see it, herein lies the big, bad, specifically flag-related issue. The reason that I think so many have had such a “visceral” (as Gina put it) reaction to’s request is that the flag isn’t a commodity to be sold. It’s a gift. And more specifically, it is *our* gift. *Our* gift to Stewart. *Our* gift from Stewart. Insert Daffy Duck yelling “Mine! Mine! All mine” if you like, but once you put all the many side issues together, the main, down-home, totally base irritations that a lot of folks are feeling are loyalty and territoriality.

And in our own daft and wanky way, that’s the lot of us showing that we care. Being over-the-top bugfuck over this kind of shit -- that's what this flag is all about. That there is Flag Love.

The problem is not that the flag is out there in the world: it has been there for months and has grown in popularity exponentially from the moment that Stewart got all googly-eyed and started waving around that happy trigger finger of his. (Ah, face it, Stewart: you love me. <ducks>) No amount of mainstream (if you will) publicity will upgrade this project from anything more than a grassroots operation held together by spit and fabric glue. (Only the best for you, Stewart.) It is what it is.

The problem is that, despite being a project that is in the public spotlight, the flag itself is not public domain. It is a private little project on a private little site sponsored and paid for by private individuals.

Let’s be honest here: love and support for Stewart alone do not keep this flag going. It takes time; it takes energy; and it takes money. I and dozens of other folks have dedicated their time, their resources, and their hard-earned cash to getting this flag around the world. Not one of us has asked for anything in return. Every flag photo, every flag story, every flag muling operation – they are our gifts to Stewart and our gifts to the community, all creating a long chain of generosity, selfless gestures, random acts of kindness, and all that fabulous, positive crap.

The only entity that has ever made a dime off the flag is the Leroy Coolbreeze Fund. has never lifted a finger or contributed a cent to this flag project. But we and Stewart have inadvertently created a little B-story for this Tourzilla soap opera, and so -- whether by nefarious design or not – wants to take advantage of something that has created buzz.

I think it's typical, I think it’s cheap, and I think it’s tacky.

Are we being over-protective of the flag, of Stewart, and of Absolutely. But that’s because we’re pretty damn proud of this land, its king, and its standard. I am all for publicity and extra screen time for Stewart, and were we celebrating that -- Holy Mother of Crap -- somewhere on the official Police DVD is a feature on Stewart and his flag, I'd have probably spent the last 12 hours in a drunken fog. But that’s not what this is. To the flag is a way to sound a barbaric yawp that “I am proud to be playing for Team Copeland.” To, the flag is little more than a minor, random, promotional tie-in.

That’s why people are ticked.

I can speak for no one else, but I personally will be damned if I’m going to help UltraStar co-opt and commodify our hard work, our generosity, and our support for Stewart and package it as a Legacy perk, no matter how small. Not even if Stewart himself asked me to.

I can’t.

I won’t.

Please see previous comment about biting.

However, I could not be more proud or more excited by the opportunity to share photos – both those with and those without the flag – with Giovanni and Eugenio for their newly announced book project. I know their situation; I know their intentions; I know their purpose; and I know their hearts. I know that both Giovanni and Eugenio have dedicated tons of their time, energy, and money to keeping this website running and keeping that flag flying. I know that the profits from their book will go toward keeping the site and the community that they built alive.

It is their website that bore the flag. It is their community that built the flag. And it is their kinetic hero that made the flag into the psychotic krypton nightmare that it is today. Legally, the flag itself belongs to me, the chick who used Stewart's logo without permission. (Sorry, Stewart.) But theoretically, hypothetically, emotionally, or whatever metaphysical adverb is appropriate in this situation:

The flag does not belong to The Police. The flag does not belong to

The flag belongs to Stewart. The flag belongs to

When UltraStar starts kicking back some profits to Giovanni and Eugenio or to the Leroy Coolbreeze Fund, then I’ll consider helping out. Short of that (Giovanni is going to be oh-so-proud of his Ambassador in a moment), screw ‘em. I paid my fan club dues; those bitches work for me. I can't stop them from jumping onto the flagwagon, but I don’t have to help them either. I owe them nothing. And just like everyone else here, I intend (close your eyes, Stewart) to bootleg the bejebus out of that damn DVD if for no other reason (she says with a smile on her lips and a twinkle in her eye) than pure, unadulterated spite. (Damn it, where’s that Norma Rae avatar?)

But no matter the issues, that Legacy DVD is not our gift to Stewart: that DVD is corporate bullshit dressed up as fandom and does not have a gong-damned thing to do with what we've built here.

Our gift to Stewart is right now lounging luxuriously across my kitchen table after a hard couple of weeks in New Zealand, Australia, Japan, and Hawaii. (Not you, Stewart.)

Our gift to Stewart is having done everything humanly possible to drag that green POS to New Zealand, Australia, Japan, and Hawaii. And South America. And North America. And Europe.

Our gift to Stewart is helping him appear oooohmysterious to 99% of the audience who wonder wtf is giving that nutso drummer such jollies that his arms keep shooting into the air.

Our gift to Stewart is showing him that no matter where he goes in the world, there’s someone in the audience who wants to show him some love.

And bloody hell, while we’ve been at it, we’ve even raised a bit of money for melanoma. Because we are just that fucking good.

And all the while we’ve been collecting all those photos that is requesting and providing them for free to any and all who wish to witness the krazy journey of The Little Flag That Could:

(Hell, even our smugmug account has been donated to this project free of charge.)

So when UltraStar gets off its lazy ass and does some flag muling and cheerleading and shares some of the windfall with those who deserve it, then I’ll consider donating some photos. Until that pig flies, my photos are going to Eugenio, my flag is going to Stewart, and my ass is getting out of here before I start rattling the bars and yelling about Attica.

Thanks for listening, everyone. Take it all with a grain of salt and a shot of tequila, and make your own decision based on your own feelings. And give yourself a pat on the back for making it through to the end.

Thanks to Giovanni and Eugenio, especially the former who encouraged me to come out here and spew even though he knows that he is a waaaay nicer person than I am.

And thanks to Stewart. Just cuz. Please do drop in and say hello at some point -- by now your family must be sick to death of having you constantly underfoot.

Your humble if verbose flagmistress,
Last edited by DirtyMartini on 02 Mar 2008 18:04, edited 4 times in total.
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Postby Madgrad on 02 Mar 2008 17:48

Be as verbose as you wanna be, woman. Always a pleasure. :D
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Postby sockii on 02 Mar 2008 17:56

Fucking. A. Men.
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Postby policefan on 02 Mar 2008 17:59

Fucking. A+. Kellie
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Postby Tamadude on 02 Mar 2008 18:01

Ahhhhhh. DM has chimed in. Now everything is back to normal (whatever normal means).

Great post DM. I think you speak for a lot of us. Damn I love your writing style. You make me laugh, cry, shout, shut up, curse and dance, all in the same post.

New glossary submission:

Flagwagon (n.) - ____________________________

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Postby irishrose1969 on 02 Mar 2008 18:14

Good job, beautifully worded. I totally agree with you. Until those folks shell out some dough for charity or compensation for the pics people have taken or something related to helping a good cause..not as a coorporate buffer undertoned mulhiling..then hell with em. Now if they took the DVD profits and donated the proceeds to a charity which I think they should...then fine. I mean, there are alot of folks out here who have lost someone special to that awful C included. I mean there are alot of charities to choose from, but that one really hits it home. Its personal so.

Now what if they decided to take the proceeds for reupping membership and donated them to charity..would we feel so sour? Probably not.
All this is about is inflating someones wallet/pocket and taking something dear and precious to us and trying to use it as a coorporate sellout.
Using someones pics without compensation...bullshit. No way. Its not enough to just say...ok, so you have put pics on the net for free, so lets just ask for them...oh of course we will give full photo credit. *stealing Phatys line* For Pucks Sake. Its the strike of the DVD profit that turns our stomachs. Bottom line.

Final thoughts....Stewart.. Please know seriously, that this is not aimed at you personally, or anyone on Team Italia. We know you all have wonderful hearts. I love you and know that this is beyond your control. I understand, this is a gift to the fans and we should be happy. However it comes with a coorporate price tag and its crap. I hope you understand why we complain. I am excited about this book and all it offers. Great job. Thanks for letting me get on my soapbox for now.
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Postby nancyrose on 02 Mar 2008 18:17

Sing It, Sister!!

Amen and Hallefuckingllujah!!

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Postby copeland_girl5 on 02 Mar 2008 18:17

[quote="sockii"]Fucking. A. Men.[/quote]

Likewise...couldn't agree more.
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Postby empty on 02 Mar 2008 18:24

Here. Fucking Here.

What the crazy ass beeeeatch from New Jersey said.

Now, my two cents extra (which isn't worth anything)?

JORDAN, yeah you. We now know you stop by here once in a while. Scarily to my surprise. If you want to use any footage of me waving my crazy ass with that FLAG, showing the love for STEWART, in your documentary or images that have been posted FREELY on the web for ALL to share, I say fine. I will enjoy watching my peeps and the love of the drummer. Your documentary is the story of the tour, and well, it just wouldn't be the story of the tour without the little POS that could, would it?

I just couldn't imagine something like ES not having footage of fan love that made STEWART happy because of some lame ass corporate sponsor. I trust STEWART. If he oks flag usage, good with me. If someone from Ultrastar does? well, blow me.

DOUBLE for Eugene and Mark who are doing their own fan doco on their own dime.

and TRIPLE for Gio and Eugenio and team Italia, and not just cause they are hot Italian studs, but because they give love to STEWART every damn day!

Wish the flag could be sanitized for your protection, but hell, that is part of the joy of it all- the danger! What doesn't kill us makes us stronger. I know. Just getting over a BAD case of flagfluenza.

Simply looking to being able to serve the flag POS project in whatever way necessary this spring/summer, even just to share the joy and love with other nutters!(and STEWART of course)

Yours in humble flag servitude,
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Postby sixteenlaps on 02 Mar 2008 18:29

That was beautiful. It made me laugh, it made me (almost) cry, it made me PROUD to be part of this whole whacky thing!
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Postby irishrose1969 on 02 Mar 2008 18:35

MTJ....Jordan comes by here?.. :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: Really?
Err umm ok.
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Postby DirtyMartini on 02 Mar 2008 18:42

Thanks, everyone. Please ignore whatever typos I missed -- I just can't take dealing with any more of them. (Damn tiny typing windows.)

[quote="mtobinjones"]Your documentary is the story of the tour, and well, it just wouldn't be the story of the tour without the little POS that could, would it?[/quote]

I absolutely agree. In the OT I am talking only of this Legacy DVD fan photo gallery thing. Jordan's documentary is a completely separate subject, and I am absolutely bowled over at the thought that the flag might appear in it somewhere.

If I can be of any assistance in any way, please do not hesitate to let me know.
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Postby Jose on 02 Mar 2008 18:46

Woow I understand it totally... this is the way fans, by our own initiative, gives Stewart our recognition by the send of our love and devotion of how he represent into "The Police" ... Stewart as a simple joyfull super rock star that is the same into the stage and out of it... the humility and simplicity of what he reflect is totally cool... at the same time he understand our devotion like an important support and bridge of the sucess of "The Police"... each one of us, who was involved in this project, each one of us who has the honor and luck to meet him represenst at the same time an ambassador of a wide range of fans over the world... lot of stories are behind any fans... the green flag represents more than a simple flag..represents the legacy and energy of a bubble of souls that vibes with a music and message that Stewart and company gives to us... we recognize it..and the green in the flag is the color of hope...more than any sign of religion is only the simple way to say "Thanks and Love" :wink:
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Postby DirtyMartini on 02 Mar 2008 18:48

[quote="Jose"]the green flag represents more than a simple flag..represents the legacy and energy of a bubble of souls that vibes with a music and message that Stewart and company gives to us... we recognize it..and the green in the flag is the color of hope...more than any sign of religion is only the simple way to say "Thanks and Love" :wink:[/quote]

Hallelujia and Amen.
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Postby np on 02 Mar 2008 18:48

Kellie, remember that non lesbian love we talked about?...well i might be switching teams soon if you keep talking like that.
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