Brazilian Flag Mk. 1 "The Tea Towel" Picture by Woking John
Fleydon gave us his own impression of his old artistic sparring partner "What impressed me about these works was the quality of work involved. They are old-school embroidered works, fantastic quality, the sort of craftsmanship that is all to rare these days. The inversion of national symbolism to reflect a local bias is of course one of the areas I explored in "DA's Army" and I think it true to say that although we had a common attitude to our works I was always slightly disapointed that Wagner never expanded his horizons and truly let his imagination fly! Limiting himself to reworkings of a single image would always lead to an imaginative impasse. But then some claim I'm just an intellectual butterfly wheras Wagner is more a rottweiler - when he works over an idea he never lets go! But sometimes it frustrates me- just think Carnival and hot women for example, how Wimbledon is that? Really those needlework skills still have a place in the Tempest End."
Brazillian Flag Mk.2 "Quarter Flag Picture by Woking John
WHEN DID YOU MAKE YOUR FLAG?
The original (a.k.a. Tea Towel as referred by some) saw its debut at the Surrey Senior Cup Final at Woking. That was the end of my first season as a Wimbledon Supporter back in May 2005.
The second (a.k.a. “In your face” or “I’m only just a quarter of the way there”) saw its debut in 2006 at the FA Cup away fixture to Exeter City.
WHAT WAS THE SOURCE OF YOUR INSPIRATION?
Well, not too difficult to understand this one. I wanted something which would convey the messages of Brazilians who support Wimbledon. The original (and not inspiring) idea was to have horizontal stripes of blue, yellow and green, but the green just didn’t fit well with yellow and blue – EUREKA – replace the green with blue. Then again, no green, no message of the mighty forests of Brazil. That’s when it came to me: use the Brazilian Flag with Wimbledon colours. One must admit that the Brazilian Flag is almost universally recognised due to Brazil’s success in so many different sports or maybe because everyone knows that the Brazilian President has the honour to always make the opening speech at the United Nations General Assembly (well, that one may not be so universally known).
The second, or “quarter flag” derives itself from the number of dissing comments I had that the Mark I version of the flag was tantamount to a handkerchief or tea towel. I then proceeded to work on the new design, inspired by a t-shirt which was popular in the mid 80s in Brazil.
HOW DID YOU MAKE YOUR FLAG? PAINT, SEWING, CUTOUTS ETC. DID SOMEONE ELSE DO ALL THE WORK?
They are both sewn. The first, comprises of a piece of blue material, overlaid with a yellow diamond and then the blue circle. The second consists of 2 widths of blue material with the yellow strip and quarter circle sewn to it. That saved me a lot on costs. Can you tell my mum was a seamstress?
FLAG MAKING. WOULD YOU RECOMMEND IT AS A POTENTIAL CAREER?
Not in my case. My message is pretty simple: Brazilian and Womble. In your case, you have no way of escaping. You speak through the medium of ensigns.
IF YOUR FLAG WERE A FILM STAR, WHICH FILM STAR WOULD IT BE?
The small, probably Dustin Hoffman. Compact, yet full of meaning.
The large one, probably Marlon Brando. Bigger than it should have been.
HAS ANYONE SAID SOMETHING UNCOMPLIMENTARY ABOUT YOUR FLAG? WHAT DID THEY SAY? WAS IT NAUGHTY?
Well, nothing negative. Just the usual mickey-taking. The first was too small and the second I ran out of material, apparently.
WHEN DO YOU DECIDE TO FLY YOUR FLAG? FA CUP GAMES, WHENEVER POSSIBLE, PLAYOFF FINALS ONLY ETC…
Well, that’s a bit of a sore subject. I had a bit of an emotional set back earlier this year and decided not to fly the flag anymore, wear a Club shirt or much else except attending the games. I intended to make a comeback for the recent match against Wycombe Wanderers in the FA Cup First Round. The Club asked supporters to register their intent to hang flags but I didn’t hear anything from them. Whether they were too busy to reply or didn’t want my flag to be there is something I’ll ask the Club when they are not so busy.
ANY FUNNY ANECDOTES ABOUT YOUR FLAG? IF NOT , ANYTHING MILDLY AMUSING? IF NOT, IS IT A BORING FLAG?
On the second time of hanging the large flag at our away fixture at Harrow Borough, the flag spent most of the game hanging at the wrong side of the wall due to the wind. I needed to get something to tie it down at the bottom.
I had to wash the same flag after it was completely soaked in beer at the Eastleigh away fixture in the FA Trophy. It was only its third time of use.
Not amusing but a steep learning curve.
IF YOU WERE MAKING YOUR FLAG AGAIN, WHAT WOULD YOU DO DIFFERENTLY?
I would probably work out a way to glue the layers and strips of material. Sewing is not for me.
ANY PLANS FOR A NEW FLAG?
Yep, another Brazilian style blue rectangle, with a yellow diamond and the AFC Wimbledon logo in the centre. I think it will look good.
WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER TO BE THE CORE ATTRIBUTES OF A FLAG?
It should convey your own message. I find the some of the pre-made flags with some sort of inscription on it rather uninspiring. Sorry but I think a flag should be about yourself and about your message.
WHAT DO YOU FEEL SHOULD BE THE EFFECT OF YOUR FLAG ON 1. THE PLAYERS 2. MANAGER AND SUPPORT STAFF 3. THOSE SUPPORTERS AROUND YOU AS YOU PUT IT UP 4. THE CAFE STAFF AT THE TEMPEST END
I hope the players and management are inspired by the presence of the supporters, who follow them tirelessly to demonstrate their support. The flags are our way to tell them we are there, no matter what. I think that the flags are exclusively for them, not nearby supporters or staff.
MAKING A FLAG. WAS IT WORTH IT? WOULD YOU DO IT AGAIN? WOULD YOU PASS YOUR EXPERIENCES ON TO THE NEXT GENERATION? IF NOT, WHY NOT?
I love my flags. My two children, who both support Wimbledon, love the flags. They were impressed by the number of hours I employed making them (they did say I was a bit over the top with the second one) but were keen to see the result.
Would I do it again? You bet.