'Our little flag game': A strange tradition of the Police reunion tour (pdf)

Stewart Copeland Official Site

With a nod, a smile, and the flick of a stick, Copeland transformed a few fans' show of appreciation into—as he once called it—“our little flag game,” an unconventional variation on Where's Waldo? operating on a global scale in front of tens of thousands of unknowing witnesses each night.

On Thursday, August 7, 2008, at Madison Square Garden in New York, the Police—singer-bassist Sting, guitarist Andy Summers, and drummer Stewart Copeland—took the stage one last time to celebrate the finale of their thirtieth anniversary reunion tour.
There was music. Laughter. Tears. Stripping. The proverbial Fat Lady—production manager Charlie Hernandez decked out in a stacked wig, mustache, and precarious red dress over exposed plastic breasts—emoted a few lines of Verdi's “Ritorna Vincitor” before Porky Pig stuttered that that was all, folks. Friends, family, and fans had traveled from all over the world to attend.
In the middle of the celebration hung a small green flag.
It wasn't much to look at. Its corners were soiled, its face cracked. Its emblem, the silhouette of a horse and rider, held no significance for the Police. To tens of thousands of witnesses that night, it was a mystery.
But to a small group of fans, just a couple of hundred or so scattered around the arena and globe, it was a message. . . .

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