UFOs, Dragon, on Marin Shopkeeper's 'Alternative' U.S. Flag
|The American banner, on a mouse pad...|
It's not every day you get a phone call, and the first thing you hear is "I pretty much have a viable alternative to the American flag."
The caller was Even Sting, the 69-year-old owner of Mill Valley curiosity shop The Pleasure Principle. It turns out he's created an American flag from the future that he sells in his shop and on dozens of products on Zazzle.com, and is showing up on more than a few bumper stickers in Marin County. "I've just passed the 1,700 mark" on the stickers, he says, and claims that even Robin Williams has emblazoned the flag on his back bumper. (SF Weekly was unable to confirm this.)
With a medieval-looking dragon and its bold colors, the flag has that plucked-out-of-Narnia theme going -- if only it weren't for the two UFOs hoovering overhead, and the words "The First And Still The Only Real U.S. Banner." So dragon, UFOs, revolutionary credos -- what brought this idea on?
Sting says he was listening to Art Bell's paranormal-themed radio show more than three years ago. A guest claimed to be a remote viewer who foresaw a banner from the 2030s that would hang on government buildings featuring the "Don't tread on me" slogan. Sting was fascinated by the concept.
"I was thinking about it every night and every morning, until I got to the point I went to a copyright attorney and said I've got to do this," he says.
A lay person's first interpretation of the flag is that it's a message to meddling extraterrestrials to keep their UFOs away from we Earthlings -- kind of like Avatar in reverse. But Sting says the message is not anti-Martian at all. It's just connecting the prospect that someday UFOs will fly overhead with the "Don't Tread on Me" flag that flew over the colonies during the Revolutionary War era. (One caveat: Sting doesn't call his flag a flag but a "banner," and tends to correct you if you call it otherwise.)
Created back during the Bush administration, he said the
"There's people that have gotten seriously allergic to red, white and blue elements," Sting says. "They're disenfranchised, they're not feeling that the government is being very honest with them....[The sales are] accelerating so fast because UFOs are more accepted by the public now and people are fed up with everything."
Denise Meehan is one of the folks who has put the bumper sticker on her car. But Meehan, the office manager at the Mill Valley Chamber of Commerce, didn't seem as "fed up with everything" as much as she was just attracted by "something different."
"People are talking about hard politics, and here comes Dave [Sting's alias] talking about an alternative American flag and it's, like, 'What the hell are you talking about?' Dave just works off a different dimension than everyone else. ...Dave is an institution in Mill Valley. He's a unique individual."