Tuesday, 9 October 2007

19. Composition of Blue on Blue (‘Thumbs up’)

The conclusion of the 'Points War' that saw the minnows of AFC Wimbledon take on and turn the tables on both the Ryman League and the FA was both shocking and unexpected. Whatever the internal machinations and political posturing adopted by the main Axis powers, a bruised but battered Wimbledon CEO was able to stand on the steps of the FA waving that small piece of paper and to declare ‘Peace in Our Time!’. As no small part of the struggle himself (who could forget his naked and consciousness-raising ‘happenings’ at league grounds around the country for example) Fleydon sought artistic closure.

“We had won the war and we now had to win the peace. It was up to the Dons to help reconstruct the shattered remains of the Ryman League in our own image and with our own values. This was the task ahead, but it was also vitally important to allow ourselves time to celebrate, to acknowledge the successful outcome to a great adventure and to recognise those that had fallen.

With the eyes of the world upon us my task, as I saw it, was to walk a tightrope. On one side was the Pit of Triumphalism, a nasty place reserved for the sort of people that gesture to the crowds at Surrey Senior Cup Finals, or teams that see us off after play-off victories or just Hampton & Richmond (no other reason required in their case). To the other side I had the Chasm of Indifference which is empty at the moment but is obviously not somewhere I’d like to fall into. My ‘monument’ had to walk that tightrope and with this very much in mind I created ‘Thumbs Up!’.”

Not since the original version of ‘Tassels’ had a Fleydon flag lacked text - an deliberate omission that nevertheless gave it an uneasy ‘incomplete’ look.

“The symbolic ‘silence’ is an indication of respect, restraint and self-control. No-one likes a show off and to rub the noses of our fallen foes in our triumph would not be the actions of gentlemen. As I hope is all too clear, kicking bewildered and confused blazers whilst they lie slumped and incoherent at your feet, is not the Wimbledon way. We prefer to help them up, adjust their ties, brush them down and shake their hands. It’s partly what makes us so popular and well-respected amongst the rest of the non-league fraternity and we wouldn’t want to loose that respect.

Triumphalist? Well if the common thumbs up of a job-well done passed as silent acknowledgment amongst friends and colleagues is triumphalist .....err...well…yes I suppose it is, but actually I don’t think it is really. I think I got it spot on, as usual. As you can see in the illustration, the crowd seem to appreciate it too and at the end of the day, that’s all that really matters”

Composition of Blue on Blue (‘Thumbs up!’) has been declared a National Monument and a Grade 2 Listed Flag. It is unfurled at the Tempest End on the Saturday Home match closest to the day of victory (Turvey Saturday).

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