Keep flags scouse - Boss wednesday agreement

Liverpool Football Club - General Discussion

Postby Leonmc0708 » Sun May 20, 2007 10:45 am

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol....ffset=0]Times Online Article

You’ll be looking for the Crosses of St George in Athens. We’re representing the country, aren’t we? Maybe a chorus or two of God Save the Queen. Eng-er-land. Well don’t wait up because it isn’t going to happen on Wednesday.

Less than half an hour before kick-off at Stamford Bridge for the first leg of the Champions League semi-final last month, a hundred or so Liverpool fans marched up from Fulham Broadway Tube station singing.

“We’re not English,

We’re not English,

We’re not English,

WE ARE SCOUSE!

We’re not English,

WE ARE SCOUSE!”

There were some horrified looks from the locals. Those in blue shirts shook their heads. Those in blue uniforms fingered their nightsticks. This was clearly disturbing.

The nearest you come to a Union flag when hardcore Reds gather is the green, white and red Basque version of the design, embellished by the words ‘Scouse Separatists’.

Oh those wacky Liverpudlians, you might think. It’s just like Manchester United fans chanting “Argentina” because they didn’t like the way England treated David Beckham in 1998.

Well it’s not. There is a long and deep-rooted tradition of not being English among Liverpool’s citizens.

So what is Scouse? It’s a stew and it’s a people. To make the stew, you need plenty of potatoes. To make the people, it took a Potato Famine.

In the first month of 1847, 300,000 Irish came into the city trying to escape starvation. That was just the start. Millions would funnel through the port. Most aimed to continue on to the United States. Enough stayed to wrench an already polyglot town away from an English state of mind. The North End of the city, where I come from, had an Irish Nationalist MP until 1929, seven years after the Free State got up and running in Dublin. Johnny Speight, the creator of Alf Garnett, understood us better than most by making Alf’s son-in-law a “tratorious Scouse git”.

Our separate identity has been establised for a long time and the supporters of Liverpool Football Club have among their numbers the flagbearers — literally — of Scouseness.

KFS (Keep Flags Scouse) is a shadowy organisation with a disputed history. My inarticulate ramblings could not do it justice so I must pass you on to kirkdalejlf, from the Red All Over The Land fanzine forum, to explain his version of the events of the early years of the decade.

“The history of the KFS goes back to when the ‘Bootle Irregulars’ flag was stolen in Dortmund during the Champions League game. The blame was laid at the door of the Kirkdale Reds who didn’t confirm or deny the accusations but condoned it stating: “Bootle is an out of town location so it was a legitimate target.” Other flags went missing during that time, ‘Lancaster Reds’ in Rome, ‘Mansfield Reds’ in Boa Vista, and a Welsh flag at Galatasaray. An animal rights march was water bombed from the Reds fans’ hotel’s upper windows after they woke us early in the morning waving a ‘Turin Animal Rights Group’ flag. This was definitely deemed to be an out-of-town location. When the Kirkdale Reds changed their name to the KFS, they asked for a meeting with the Bootle Irregulars. This was refused by The Major when confronted by the KFS in Kiev, stating: “We don’t talk with terrorists.” After a few more atrocities a meeting was speedily arranged at Boa Vista were the Boss Wednesday Agreement was agreed over a few bottles of Superbok. The accord was celebrated by 90 minutes chanting of Gerrard Houllier’s name.”

Yes, it’s a gag. Sort of. The Boss Wednesday Agreement (think Good Friday if you don’t understand Scouse), determines what is acceptable in the Liverpool banner culture, which boils down to red flags and Liver Birds, only Liverpool (or Liverpool overspill) place names are acceptable and you can get away with almost any banner if it’s witty enough. There’s even a KFS kite mark. Oh, and the Boss Wednesday Agreement doesn’t really exist.

What does exist is a will to keep our football culture distinct and the quality of the banners on display at Liverpool games is one of the things that we’re proud of. So if you’re going to Athens, leave that St George’s Cross at home. Then the KFS can get back to doing what they do best - drinking.


Official Site Page

Keep Flags Scouse

Keep Flags Scouse is our campaign; it's proven a success
No St.George flags or Salop Reds, ruled by the KFS
It doesn't matter where you're from, you've voted with your feet
You're at the match, behind the reds, so what's on that bed sheet?
Cheltenham Reds or Kent Kopites, that's not what we're about
Why promote your hometown, you'll hear the locals shout?

It's not that you're not welcome, unless you read that rag
The rag you all know as The S*n, now please take down your flag
Your accent matters not a dot, nobody could care less
Just leave the plazzy Ingland flags, not one of them impress
Red banners covered in trophies; they all have tales to tell
From Joey Jones eating frogs legs to the Welcome to Hell
Originality is the key, a Liverbird Upon Our Chest
Stick the tacky Ingland flags and leave them to the rest

We're in a different league to them; we do things on our own
So when you stick up woolly flags that why you'll here lads moan
We've got a reputation, traditions to uphold
St.George's flags just grate our skin, make our support look cold
Look at all the banners, we've posted on these sites
They're just another reason why we have those special nights

They set us apart from all the rest, to stand out from the others
It's not just scousers who are allowed to use their ma's old covers
Anyone can make a flag, nobody's alone
But you're there to support Liverpool, and not promote your home
So keep us special, Keep Flags Scouse, maintain our proud traditions
Make sure your flag or banner fits the KFS conditions!

RTK Site Page

The Keep Flags Scouse campaign started as a witty response to Liverpool's growing number of nouveau fans. But not all supporters have got the joke, says Steven Wells

Wednesday February 28, 2007
Guardian Unlimited

By the time you read this Barcelona will have witnessed pitched battles fought between the "snatch and burn" hit squads of Keep Flags Scouse warlord Larry Bin Laden and the non-Scouse flag-waving Guildford Gestapo (and other elements of the Extreme Wool Front).
Or maybe it won't. Because the Keep Flags Scouse campaign is a joke. Except it's not. Not really. Perhaps we'd better start at the beginning.

Keep Flags Scouse started during Liverpool's 2000-01 Uefa Cup run. Middle England-loathing reds - hardened against the Union flag and the flag of St George by Thatcherism and the aftermath of Hillsborough - were embarrassed and disgusted to see these flags waved by "day-trippers and nouveau fans" who, claims KFS co-founder John Mackin, "brought along their small-town philosophies and Ing-ger-land attitudes."

In Rome that year some of the offending flags were "snatched and destroyed". KFS stalwarts started talking about the Boss Wednesday Agreement - an entirely fictional treaty between entirely fictional KFS factions where the rules of Scouse flagdom are definitively laid out.
It was a joke. Sort of. "It creates confusion, bemuses the wools and creates anarchy. We like that," says Mackin.

The fact that the Boss Wednesday Agreement is so often quoted but entirely non-existent has led to some dementedly chaotic arguments about what is and isn't a Scouse flag. Does - for instance - the red "Norwegian Wools" flag qualify? No - say some KFS hard-liners. It fails to meet Boss Wednesday criteria because it name-checks a non-Liverpool place name.

"A huge yes," says John Mackin. "Funny. Conscious of its credentials but does its best to adhere to the general 'rules'. Also has earned its stripes - those lads go everywhere and are good eggs. You'd be proud of them - good company and never behave like dicks. And they get the ale in: very important."

On the KFS-affiliated Reds All Over The Land (RAOTL) fansite you'll find an entire gallery of approved banners and flags, including such spontaneously witty classics as "London stinks of rat :censored:", and "Welcome to hell my :censored:! If you think this is hell try the Grafton on a Friday night."

Which begs the obvious question, can you really campaign for spontaneous wit?

"Nope, good call Mr Pedant," concedes Mackin. "But what you can do is campaign against the derivative and tired, and by doing so engender an atmosphere where spontaneity is the only option."

As jokes go - even semi-serious ones - KFS has provoked some curious responses. The campaign has been co-opted by the definitely-not-joking Reclaim the Kop website. RTK also published a 10-week 'Kop Etiquette' series and a Kop Charter (No7: "It's not endearing when visitors don curly-perm wigs and tell locals to 'calm down'") alongside some of the worst football poetry ever written: "Most knowledgeable fans throughout the world is how we once were known/ But is that a reputation that we have now outgrown?"

Keep Flags Scouse has also featured on the official LFC site. Which is sort of odd. You don't need to hear too much KFS ranting to realise that it's, at best, semi-serious.

"Defy us at your peril. Dissent and we'll fatwa you. Resistance is futile. What do you think this is, a free country?"

Some Scouse-and-wool Liverpool fans have spectacularly failed to get the joke. KFS have been accused of Luddite parochialism, xenophobia and nostalgia for a past that never really existed. Out-of-town fans have threatened violence against anyone who touches their flag.

An idiot on the other side accused non-Scousers of being "inbread" (no, really). Another called for the campaign to be extended to jester-hat wearing "Oirish ****s". And then there was the disturbingly surreal sight of a chat-room message calling for the burning of all "wool flags" and "all wools", the messenger signing off with a request that we always remember the innocent victims of Hillsborough.

Joke or no, the RTK and KFS campaigns tell us loads about the state of modern fandom and the debate about who is and is not a real fan. Particularly in relation to Liverpool fans and their apparent need to portray themselves as authentic in contrast to the allegedly rootless Southern flâneurs who support "United".

"It tells us that traditional fans are tired of the way the game is going," says John Mackin. "How their traditions have been eroded. How they are feeling alienated by clubs who will chase ANY fan, regardless of their loyalty or strength of allegiance. "It also tells us that Sky and the Premier League seem to have an agenda to create a new type of modern superfan; they seem to actively seek to get rid of the hairy-arsed, smelly, beery male supporter of the past and replace him with a new breed of 'family customer'".

Class, race and gender all raise their jargon-spewing heads and one could easily knock off a semi-humorous essay comparing the nostalgic parochialism of post-punk football fanzine lefties with the affected nationalist folkisms of the anti-"coca-colonialism" Stalinist left of the 1950s.

But we won't.

The bottom line, says John Mackin is that it's "just flags at football".

"Tell people not to take it all so seriously. That said, the KFS will be out at Anfield next week shooting offenders."

Visit to the RAOTL website and you'll find a thread about "keeping babies' names Scouse". And the announcement of the formation of the Surrey branch of KFS. You'll also find Liverpool's new American owners saluted under the masthead: "Go Team Liverpool! Offense! Offense! Offense!"

In a world where globalisation is increasingly dissolving all traditional definitions of authenticity and community, I think that's called getting your retaliation in first.
Last edited by Leonmc0708 on Sun May 20, 2007 10:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby 66-1112520797 » Sun May 20, 2007 11:18 am

A very interesting and a very educational read.

Says me with my Bamaga sig  :D
Last edited by 66-1112520797 on Sun May 20, 2007 11:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Sabre » Sun May 20, 2007 11:44 am

The nearest you come to a Union flag when hardcore Reds gather is the green, white and red Basque version of the design, embellished by the words ‘Scouse Separatists’.



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:laugh: This impacted me big time, and probably to Xabi aswell. :)
Last edited by Sabre on Sun May 20, 2007 11:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Igor Zidane » Sun May 20, 2007 11:48 am

I say keep scousers scouse, anyone north of county road are wools and anyone south of Garston are wools. Unless your the owner of our club ,cos you can be anything you want then. :p  :D
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Postby Sabre » Sun May 20, 2007 11:52 am

Igor Zidane wrote:I say keep scousers scouse, anyone north of county road are wools and anyone south of Garston are wools. Unless your the owner of our club ,cos you can be anything you want then. :p  :D

South of Garston?

I'm a superwool then. And the superwool says LFC rocks!  :buttrock
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Postby Igor Zidane » Sun May 20, 2007 11:59 am

Sabre wrote:
Igor Zidane wrote:I say keep scousers scouse, anyone north of county road are wools and anyone south of Garston are wools. Unless your the owner of our club ,cos you can be anything you want then. :p  :D

South of Garston?

I'm a superwool then. And the superwool says LFC rocks!  :buttrock

Nothing wrong in being a superwool Sabre , it's what's in your heart that counts mate. :buttrock
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Postby NANNY RED » Sun May 20, 2007 12:30 pm

Igor Zidane wrote:
Sabre wrote:
Igor Zidane wrote:I say keep scousers scouse, anyone north of county road are wools and anyone south of Garston are wools. Unless your the owner of our club ,cos you can be anything you want then. :p  :D

South of Garston?

I'm a superwool then. And the superwool says LFC rocks!  :buttrock

Nothing wrong in being a superwool Sabre , it's what's in your heart that counts mate. :buttrock

Well said Igor couldnt have put it better myself we are liverpool and thats all that matters
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Postby Igor Zidane » Sun May 20, 2007 12:37 pm

NANNY RED wrote:
Igor Zidane wrote:
Sabre wrote:
Igor Zidane wrote:I say keep scousers scouse, anyone north of county road are wools and anyone south of Garston are wools. Unless your the owner of our club ,cos you can be anything you want then. :p  :D

South of Garston?

I'm a superwool then. And the superwool says LFC rocks!  :buttrock

Nothing wrong in being a superwool Sabre , it's what's in your heart that counts mate. :buttrock

Well said Igor couldnt have put it better myself we are liverpool and thats all that matters

As long as you respect the traditions and history of lfc and it's people ,you'll be alright by me .

Eat up now ,your at your nins. :D
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Postby Noise Noise » Sun May 20, 2007 1:28 pm

There is some class humour in there ie.
"Tell people not to take it all so seriously. That said, the KFS will be out at Anfield next week shooting offenders."

Ive always had an inkling that the Liverpool support kept up 'a from England but not of it' thing going.  Didnt really know the history, thought it was the Irish influence which i guess after reading that is kinda right. 

Maybe i should change my sig now!
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Postby egyptian liverpoolian » Sun May 20, 2007 2:12 pm

you will never walk alone
my real name is mostafa
i am muslim, arab , egyptian
and i adore liverpool
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Postby Ciggy » Mon May 21, 2007 9:31 pm

pmsl @ these  :D

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Postby The Manhattan Project » Mon May 21, 2007 11:52 pm

Manhattan's favourite LFC flag is the "Stars and Stripes" featuring only five (soon to be six hopefully) stars.
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Postby Reg » Tue May 22, 2007 12:22 am

Sabre wrote:Image

I must admit, I do like that.... kinda makes us different from the other fans.
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Postby Woollyback » Tue May 22, 2007 12:42 am

Sabre wrote:
The nearest you come to a Union flag when hardcore Reds gather is the green, white and red Basque version of the design, embellished by the words ‘Scouse Separatists’.



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:laugh: This impacted me big time, and probably to Xabi aswell. :)

can't see rafa liking that one, what with him being a madrileno and all :oh:
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Postby Sabre » Tue May 22, 2007 8:49 am

No mate, he'd probably giggle and he wouldn't be annoyed.

Only 10% of Basques and another bigot 10% of the Spaniards would have a problem with that. That's the flag both of those independentists, and every other basque. For normal people in Spain, that's just a flag like the one of Wales, no problem.

apart from the violent terrorists that do not represent us, Spaniards do like the basques. The stereotype of a basque is a strong man, that eats and cooks good food, a man of few words (not like me), that is generous to pay rounds of drinks to the visitor. Of course that's a stereotype, but the traditional image of the basque is seen as something nice and a bit funny. Because since we raise stones of 300Kg as a sport, and cut tree trunks with an axe as sport aswell (Aussies do this aswell) they think we're all some sort of tough macho man, and they do jokes about us, but in a good manner.

So Rafa would probably giggle if he sees that, he doesn't strike me like  a bigot :;):

Ah, it's nice to talk about this things, because I'm worried for my heart this days, bring on the final!
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