A billboard in Times Square. Skywriting. A campaign worth over $20,000. Meet the fans of Our Flag Means Death who are trying to revive the show from the dead.
Our Flag Means Death is a comedy series that follows the misadventures of a bunch of 18th-century pirates. Rhys Darby stars as the foppish Stede Bonnet, and Taika Waititi plays the rockstar Blackbeard. On January 9, 2024, HBO Max cancelled Our Flag Means Death after two seasons — a move that has prompted fans of the series to take action.
Fans of the series, along with grassroots organisation Renew as a Crew, have begun a Change.org petition to get the show renewed. The fandom has also raised over US $21,000 to promote their cause on a Times Square billboard screen in New York City.
“Save Our Flags Means Death,” their billboard reads. “RenewAsACrew.com.”
But that’s not all that Renew as a Crew has recently done. On January 20, they hired a plane to drag the words “Save Our Flags Means Death” across the sky. This action, among others, has been lauded on social media platforms like TikTok. Each day, the online community that’s upholding this cause continues to balloon.
What Our Flags Means Death Means to Its Fans
Unlike most other mainstream shows, Our Flags Means Death is centred on LGBTQIA+ individuals. Both Rhys Darby’s Stede Bonnet and Taika Waititi’s Blackbeard are gay, having a storied love affair. For many LGBTQIA+ people, Our Flags Means Death depicts their sexualities in a manner that many other stories ignore.
Our Flags Means Death matters to its fans because it represents its fans. This sentiment is ever-present on Change.org’s Max petition.
“This program is a delightful representation of the LGBTIQA+ community, of which I am a part,” one fan wrote. “It brings a positive and light-hearted message to mainstream folks.”
“This show means so much to LGBTIQA+ viewers and to all of us who are hungry for less confining, more joyous portrayals of masculinity,” another stated. “It fills a need, and there’s nothing else like it. The show deserves the time and space to conclude its story in a satisfying way.”
Renew as a Crew’s Charity Drives and Donations
Over the past few weeks, Renew as a Crew has done more than just purchase billboards and skywriting. This fandom has also raised money for two charities. They have raised AU $25,821 for the LGBTQIA+ charity RainbowYOUTH and AU $15,174 for the group Care for Gaza.
The fact that Renew as a Crew has a philanthropic arm demonstrates the power and ambitions that fandoms can now possess. Even if they don’t get Our Flags Means Death renewed, they have most certainly left their mark on our earth.