Last modified: 2005-12-17 by rick wyatt
Keywords: banana republic | miami | florida |
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image by Al Kirsch, 20 June 2000
image by Chris Martinez, 28 May 2001
The flag of the "Banana Republic of Miami", a satirical flag hoisted by elements of the English-speaking community of
Miami, flown more often after the Elian Gonzalez fiasco. I cannot make out all the detail. The writing says "The Republic of Miami, Dade Co. Florida" and the palm tree has bananas growing on it (a botanical impossibility, but never mind.) The writing near the tree is not legible; perhaps a "founding" date or a "motto"?
Al Kirsch, 20 June 2000
Excerpts from Polk Online Story
MIAMI -- A flag emblazoned with the words "Banana Republic" and boasting a bogus city seal flanked by the offending fruit may not be welcome at City Hall, but the mocking banner is a hit with the public. With no marketing or outside sales, the sarcastic, green banner has been selling by the hundreds from a local flag factory. It bears a slightly altered version of the city seal; the founding date is changed to the year 2,000.Submitted by Al Kirsch, 22 June 2000
Flag designer Barbara Dabney was inspired by a request from a local carpenter who was fed up with the flurry of recriminations, corruption charges and abrupt departures of city officials following the Elian Gonzalez federal raid. Ron Snizek walked into the flag store in April and said he was appalled by the Mayor's antics. Snizek said he wished there was a flag for the "banana republic" that some said Miami had become.
Snizek flew the first "Banana Republic" flag from the back of his pickup truck at a protest. So many people liked it, Dabney produced hundreds more. "We are not trying to be divisive," said Scott Peterson, who bought 40 of the Banana Republic flags to sell at his company.
This flag is intended to be humorous!
Greater Miami has never pretended to be like the rest of America. It has always capitalized on its renegade image.
Miami has a history of being a place where the rule of law doesn't quite apply. With the land schemes of the 1920s, leakiness during Prohibition, illegal gambling in the 1950s, cocaine wars of the 1980s and more recently corruption and scandals in the city government.
And in the style that is Miami, residents unhappy with the way things are going in City Hall took the term and ran away with the idea, bringing humor and flavor to Miami and its government. What became a phrase bloomed into a full blown parade itself, complete with flags. The flags, in the spirit of a true "Banana Republic" are not all the same, calling for originality, but many follow a protocol of a green background, the seal of the city, and of course, those yellow bananas.
The flag above is my own style, with the seal stripped of the lettering around it, just having the blue palm tree and "Incorporated 1896" in a white circle in between bananas that represent the banana republic aspect of the city. Above is the "name" of the "republic", below it, a "motto": "Don't Sweat on Me," a light-hearted, humorous outtake inspired by the Gadsden flag of the American Revolution. The flag is a symbol of Miami's style: a combination of a relaxed state mixed with a sense of humor and plenty of attitude, making for a very interesting city to live in!
Chris Martinez, 28 May 2001