By Ted Kaye, revised by Scott Mainwaring
Originally published in The Vexilloid Tabloid #31 & #32, Dec ’11 & Feb ’12
Occupy Portland, the protest movement and encampment in downtown Portland, has used flags in interesting ways. Ted Kaye observed a march in late October in which the flags used included USA, Cascadia, Tunisia, and red (IWW) and black (Anarchists).
Part of a national movement, the Portland group created a logo based on the flag of the city of Portland, a wonderfully innovative use (what would Doug Lynch have thought?).
This unusual “Gadsden Variant”, drawn on cardboard by an artist named Bobby, turns the well-known rattlesnake into the “99%” image reflecting the movement’s motto “We are the 99%”.
The US flag was very popular, often flow upside down to indicate the nation in distress, or as a background for writing.
Peter Orenski’s TME Co. designed and manufactured 99% variants of the US flag and gave them away to Occupy movements across the country in return for a photograph of them in use for publication on TME’s website. One made its way to Portland via Ted Kaye.