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Title: Browncoat  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Science fiction fandom, Alliance (Firefly), Fandom, Firefly (TV series), WikiProject Firefly
Collection: Fictional Holidays, Firefly (Tv Series) Terminology, Science Fiction Fandom, Unity Days
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


This article is about fans of the television series Firefly and its spin-off film Serenity. For the Nazi paramilitary sometimes called "brownshirts", see Sturmabteilung.
Uniform of the Browncoats as seen in the TV series

Browncoat is the name given to fans of the space western franchise Firefly. The term originated as a nickname to the fictional Independence fighters in the television series.[1][2]


  • Fictional meaning 1
  • Fans 2
  • Charity 3
  • References 4
  • Sources 5

Fictional meaning

In the series, Browncoats were named after the simple brown dusters the soldiers of the Independence faction in the show had worn as uniforms. Conversely, the Alliance's soldiers were called "Purplebellies," because of the purple-tinted body armor they wore on their chests.


In 2002, while Firefly was nearing cancellation, fans organized to try to save the series from being canceled by Fox Broadcasting Network. Their efforts included raising money for an ad in Variety magazine and a postcard writing campaign to UPN.[3] These fans are also sometimes known as "flans" (IPA /flænz/). This originated from a slip of the tongue by actor Nathan Fillion during an interview, when talking about Firefly fans.[4] (Wikiquote transcription)

Since then, there have been several Browncoat fan films. One titled Browncoats: Redemption raised $113,000 for charity.[5] The film centered around the crew of the ship Redemption, three months after the Miranda signal is sent.[6]

Notable Firefly fans include science fiction writer Orson Scott Card;[7][8] writer Tracy Hickman;[9] webcomic author Randall Munroe; and NASA astronaut Steven Swanson.[10]


A number of fan groups and charitable organizations[11] were created by browncoats across the globe. Notable charitable groups include Austin Browncoats,[12] California Browncoats[13] and Southeastern Browncoats.[14]

Can't Stop the Serenity is a global charitable event to benefit Equality Now and other causes (chosen at the local level, some cities include Kids Need to Read, a charity co-founded by Firefly/Serenity star Nathan Fillion and author PJ Haarsma). The project began in 2006 and has raised a combined total of more than $600,000.[15]


  1. ^ Chonin, Neva (2005-06-08). "'"When Fox canceled 'Firefly,' it ignited an Internet fan base whose burning desire for more led to 'Serenity.  
  2. ^ McGILL, HANNAH (Oct 6, 2005). "Hungry for the real Roman Cinema FILM OF THE WEEK".  
  3. ^ Cancellation" April 28, 2012FireflyBergen, Jennifer. "10 Extreme Cases of Nerd Rage", p. 2:
  4. ^ video
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Uncle Orson Reviews Everything". Retrieved 2008-03-28. 
  8. ^ Serenity - Uncle Orson Reviews Everything
  9. ^ "The Signal Season 1 Show 15". Retrieved 2008-03-28. 
  10. ^ "Meet Your Browncoat Astronaut". Retrieved 2008-02-10. 
  11. ^ "Browncoat Fan Groups and Charities". Retrieved 2011-02-04. 
  12. ^ "Browncoat Charities". Retrieved 2011-02-04. 
  13. ^ "Browncoat Charities". Retrieved 2011-02-04. 
  14. ^ "Browncoat Charities". Retrieved 2011-02-04. 
  15. ^ Can't Stop the Serenity | History


  • Whedon, Joss. Firefly Official Companion, Volume One; Titan Books, 2006 ISBN 1-84576-314-9
  • Done the Impossible: The Fans' Tale of Firefly & Serenity (2006), directed by Tony Hadlock, Jason Heppler, Jeremy Neish, Jared Nelson, and Brian Wiser, DVD, UPC 822732036221
  • Eberson, Sharon (27 June 2012). "A Browncoat's dream come true: 'Firefly' panel at Comic-Con". Staff Blogs. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 7 July 2012. 
  • Romero, Mary (25 June 2012). "Watching Television With My Dad". Huffington Post. Retrieved 7 July 2012. 
  • Hanks, Henry (16 April 2012). "'"A 'Firefly' reunion on 'Castle. The Marquee Blog. CNN. Retrieved 7 July 2012. 
  • Matheson, Whitney (4 August 2009). "Whedonites join forces for a full-blown fest". Pop Candy. USA Today. Retrieved 7 July 2012. 
  • Firefly' farewell? One Browncoat says a revival would miss the magic"'". Hero Complex. Los Angeles Times. 8 March 2011. Retrieved 7 July 2012. 
  • "Nerdcore Rapper Adam WarRock Searches for Serenity". Wired. 15 July 2011. Retrieved 7 July 2012. 
  • MacQuarrie, Jim (2 July 2012). "Shiny! A Firefly Marathon!". Wired. Retrieved 7 July 2012. 
  • Nussbaum, Emily (21 December 2003). "A DVD Face-Off: The Official Vs. the Homemade".  The New York Times
  • Batchelor, Bob (2011). Cult Pop Culture: How the Fringe Became Mainstream. Praeger.  
  • Lavery; Burkhead, eds. (2011). Joss Whedon: Conversations. Univ. Press of Mississippi.  
  • Jane Espenson, ed. (2007). Serenity Found: More Unauthorized Essays on Joss Whedon's Firefly Universe. BenBella Books.  
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