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Firefly (television series)

Last modified: 2013-11-25 by antónio martins
Keywords: firefly | union of allied planets | anglo-sino alliance | alliance | doubt | independents | stars: 6 (yellow) | stars: 6 (white) |
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The Alliance
(a.k.a. the Anglo-Sino Alliance or the Union of Allied Planets)

On Wikipedia.com, the Alliance is described as

In the Firefly television series, the Alliance is a powerful government and law-enforcement organization that controls a large sector of colonized “core planets.”
(…)
The Alliance flag, seen in the original pilot episode, is a blending of the United States and People’s Republic of China flags.
Travis Dunn, 21 Jul 2005

This quote could perhaps be traced in its history from the English Wikipedia article; FWIW its current version is in a footnote and states that «This Sino-American heritage is illustrated by labels on crates in the episode “The Train Job”, consisting of a Chinese flag superimposed over a United States flag.»
António Martins, 22 Mar 2012

The two large stars are supposed to represent the two allied superpowers
Alan Baker, 11 Nov 2005

Two flag designs can be seen as stickers in 2 different episodes, “Bushwacked” and “The Train Job”. As far as I can tell, neither show up as actual flags so these might actualy only be logos.
Marc Pasquin, 20 Mar 2012

The discrepancy is therefore canonical, even if unintended by the authors. Still to be explained the two main differences in design, leaving aside ratios, color shades, star sizes/positions, and possible flipping:

António Martins, 22 Mar 2012

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As in episode “Bushwacked”

Alliance flag variant
image by Travis Dunn, 31 Jul 2005

The image in Wikipedia, by Marc Pasquin, show yellow stars, casting a shadow on the report by Travis Dunn.
António Martins, 22 Mar 2012

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As in episode “The Train Job”

(flipped to show putative hoist at left)
Alliance flag variant
image by Alan Baker, 11 Nov 2005

The flag can be seen on some Alliance crates in the episode “Train Job”. Clearly a mix of the U.S. and P.R.C. flags. I find it interesting to note that the postion of the larger to smaller stars on the Chinese part and the blue field — stripes of the US section are mirrored from their relative positions on the real life flags. I don’t know if that means anything, but given the dystopian nature of the Alliance, it could be a deliberate pointer that something’s not right.
Alan Baker, 11 Nov 2005

Regarding the mirror effect, there could be 2 other explanations:

  1. It is part of their cultural habits to draw flags with the hoist to the right.
  2. the crates were upside down.
Marc Pasquin, 12 Nov 2005

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Alliance emblem

In the spin-off film Serenity this flag was not seen, but an Alliance emblem incorporating several planets and stars in a diamond field could be seen on the inside of an Alliance research ship.
Alan Baker, 11 Nov 2005

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Independents’ flag?

At The Firefly / Serenity Wikia site there’s what is apparently the flag of the “Independents”: It is a 1:2 green flag with two narrow horizontal yellow stripes and a black five-pointed star standing on a tip centered overall. The particular shades of green and yellow seem to be indetermined, as the original posted used bright 100% saturated RGB values and those were later replaced with the current subdued pastel shades.
António Martins, 19 Mar 2012

This is strictly a fan creation based on triangular patches worn by some characters. it doesn’t even show up in rectangular form so I don’t think we can count it as a flagoid.
Marc Pasquin, 20 Mar 2012


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