The question eventually comes up when speaking about our love of Firefly and Serenity. Here's how other fans (Browncoats) have answered....
(Taken from the site www.browncoats.com)
“There are two kinds of Browncoats: Those within the fictional story of Firefly & those outside the story. We are the latter.” ~FLYHEAD
Within the story, “Brown Coat” is the name given to the Independent Faction who fought against the Alliance in a war that ends six years before the show begins. Not unlike the southern states during the Civil War, the Brown Coats fought for sovereignty and the right to their own government, and like the South, they lost.
“The Central Planets, them as formed the Alliance,
waged war to bring everyone under their rule.
A few idiots tried to fight it,
among them: myself.”
~Captain Malcolm Reynolds.
Two of the crew members of Serenity, Mal and Zoe, were Browncoats.
HARKEN “Independents suffered a pretty crushing defeat there.
Some say after Serenity, the Brown Coats were through.
That the war really ended in that valley.
Seems odd you'd name your ship
after a battle you were on the wrong side of.”
MAL “May have been the losing side.
Still not convinced it was the wrong one.”
Okay, now really, who are we?
Outside the story are us, the fans.
We Browncoats resemble more than a little the disenfranchised crew of the show. And not unlike Mal and Zoe, we have refused to lay down in defeat and accept the choices that the “Alliance” has left us. We have made our own path, and continue to fight for what we want, for what we feel was taken from us: Firefly.
“We, Browncoats, are the fans of Firefly. Loyal from the first time we saw it. Willing to go the extra mile to support it. Trying to find meaningful ways to put our fanaticism to good use.”~FLYHEAD
Are you a Browncoat?
“In my own mind I definitely distinguish between "regular" fans of the show and Browncoats. A fan is someone who watches the show and likes it--simple enough. But a Browncoat (in my mind, anyway) is much more of a fan activist, someone who has sent postcards and e-mail or has written a review or donated money for something Firefly-related, etc., etc., etc. A Browncoat has taken the next step: Instead of just saying, "What a great show--oh well, too bad it was cancelled," the Browncoat says, "F#ck that! What can I do to keep Firefly going!?!" A Browncoat is not satisfied with the way things are and takes action to make things the way s/he wants them to be. A fan can be passive; a Browncoat never is.” --po1s
Browncoats make up several of many on-line Firefly communities who have been actively involved in their support of the show. Our love and devotion to the show and all that is involved has continued on beyond --and despite-- the cancellation; growing and gaining new fans --new Browncoats-- every day. While Firefly is still the cornerstone that brings us together, other commonalities have been found that keep us together--our regard for each other.
"We are a relatively close on-line community.
And with every passing Shindig, we become closer in real life too.”~FLYHEAD
Whatever our differences, one thing will always remain the same: our faith and hope in Firefly’s future.
"...a small, eclectic crew who are the closest thing to family
and undyingly loyal..."
~Serenity Press Release
"It's a fool don't know that his family's his crew...
~~ Mal's Song ~ Vixy & Tony
Someone once asked, back in the fall of 2003 on the [original board], almost a year since the cancellation, "why are we still here?"
"We are still here because:
a) this show is incredible
b) we are keeping the hope (the cause) alive so that
c) when the show comes back, we won't have to rebuild cuz we'll never have left
d) we're showing support for Joss, the writers, the crew and the cast in something that we thought was beautiful art and worth sticking around and fighting for
e) this show was so frelling intricate that we are *still* investigating the characters and all the story possibilities
f) we have formed a community that a mere cancellation can't dissipate
g) we're just cool like that
H) we're Browncoats: we may have lost the war, but that doesn't mean we were on the wrong side, and we WILL rise again.” ~Tzegha
The word from other Browncoats. . .
“I say a Browncoat is someone who is
very independent and stubborn.
We don't give up easily or willingly.” ~BRENDAC20
“People who are a little rebellious,
a little generous,
a little crazy,
and a lot dedicated.” ~LSSTROUT
“We live on the edge.
We're passionate about our beliefs,
and will fight to the end for what we believe is right.
We're always willing to help those that need it.
We pull together when times are tough.
We're a family.” ~ILOVEJAYNE
“What I've learned being a browncoat:
We do not give up even if the battle looks hopeless.
There are all kinds of ways to fight.
Fight hard enough you might just get a movie.
Sometimes you have to sell bobble headed geisha dolls to survive.”
“We are so very shiny. We ROCK!” ~CSTEINME
“Well, regular folk.
People who don't like too much authority,
are crazy enough in the brainpan to have fun
when others find things boring,
who, like the underdog, rise up at a moment's notice
to support what or whom they believe in,
You know, regular folk.
“We are fans of the TV show, Firefly.
But I would agree that most of us are fans
who have been touched by Firefly's messages;
we all have some belief in rugged individualism in common
along with a certain developing dislike for Fox TV decisions.” ~DORANJONES
LUND “I'm thinking someone should put you down, dog.”
MAL “I'm thinking we'll rise again.”
Firefly episode #1.1 - "Train Job"