In spring 2011, my friend Will Aspinall and I began wondering what it would take to liberate Brixton from the rest of London. Neither of us had any real answers, but we did agree that Brixton must come together around something before it broke away from anything.
As a way of anchoring our counterfactual fantasy, we decided to unite the neighbourhood around a new flag, and film our efforts.
Though the cause was in jest, our curiosity was sincere. I suppose we were inspired by the televised passions of the Arab spring and by the looming anniversary of the Brixton riots. In the spirit of pub-stool revolutionaries, we wanted to brighten up our backyard with the reflected glory of distant uprisings.
We were also both temporarily unemployed. Now was the time to fill in some missing chapters from our misspent youth.
Why a flag? We already had a local currency, the Brixton pound. A flag seemed like a natural successor, another symbol of mock-statehood. It would be eye-catching and, we hoped, a vehicle for a popular vision of the neighbourhood. We organised a public competition for a new design, with the winner to be revealed at a grand unfurling in Windrush Square.