Our Flag Means Death

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Name: Our Flag Means Death
Abbreviation(s): OFMD
Creator: David Jenkins
Date(s): March 3, 2022 – present
Medium: Television
Country of Origin: USA
External Links: at IMDb
at Wikipedia
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Our Flag Means Death is a queer rom-com HBO television series about the adventures of historical pirates in the early 1700s.

Season one aired in March 2022 to critical and fannish acclaim. After much anticipation, the show was renewed for a second season on June 1, 2022.


The series is loosely based on the life of Stede Bonnet and his entry into the World of Piracy back in 1717, as well as his encounter with the famous Captain Blackbeard.

It was explicitly designed as a "romantic comedy" between the male leads:


🏳️‍🌈🧨💥I'm very proud of this romantic comedy we made. Very proud. It's not "bromantic", it's ROMANTIC. If you hate this show, don't worry, I still love you. And I hope you begin to understand the many layers that love can encompass. Love is love baby.[1] #ourflagmeansdeath

Main Characters



Fans rejoiced that the show refreshingly didn't feature queerbait and hoped it would not lead to the Bury Your Gays trope. They celebrated the series for its diversity and complex representation of LGBT characters and experiences, including featuring a non-binary character, Jim Jimenez, played by non-binary actor Vico Ortiz.

ofmd really said "what if we had gay characters whose storylines didn't revolve around homophobia" and every queer person in a 20 mile radius started cheering and biting people[2]

Within a month of its release, the show had already become an online hit, with numerous fanworks being created, such as edits and vids on TikTok and Twitter. Fans promptly began shipping Edward Teach/Stede Bonnet, leading to discussion about what to name the ship.

Canon relationship Black Pete/Lucius Spriggs was also popular:


Yea yea, stede and Ed, but Lucious and Black Pete are the sweetest queer love story on TV. I was not ready for how great that pairing is. The talent on and off the screen is just overflowing. Love it so much.[3]

Other popular ships include Edward Teach/Izzy Hands and Jim Jimenez/Oluwande Boodhari.

A significant portion of the fandom is made up of fans of actor, director and producer Taika Waititi, who plays Blackbeard. Waititi previously worked with some of the other actors on the show, leading to fans noting the possibility of crossovers and AUs:


The really great thing about Taika and Rhys playing pirates in love in 2022 is that we can now pretend Radiradirah (2010) is a Blackbeard/Stede AU...[4] #OFMD #OurFlagMeansDeath

Many puns based on the show's name were made, such as Our Flag Means Gay[5] or Our Flag Means Fancy because of Bonnet's amazing apparel.

Twitter and Tumblr fans and users not only rejoiced at the show's overtly queercode, but also its presentation of disabled characters.[citation needed]

The Fourth Wall

The Fourth Wall was broken immediately, with the series creator joining in the fun, posting the tweet:


Historical pirate rom-com. That’s it. That’s the pitch. #OurFlagMeansDeath #blackstede #stedebeard #blackbonnet #gentlebeard #stEDe ❤️[6]

Fanart creators shared particularly shared their fanworks with creators, tagging actors in their Twitter posts. Many actors shared fanart of the show. Con O'Neill was particularly active, prompting various fan reactions.

Vico Ortiz and Samba Schutte also took active part in the fandom.

Connections with Other Fandoms

Our Flag Means Death's popularity led to what some fans called a pirate renaissance, with Black Sails and Pirates of the Caribbean both trending on Tumblr in late March/early April 2022. This was likely due to fans sharing gifsets, meta essays and other posts comparing these source materials. Some fans called this SuperWhoLock 2.0, to some other fans' horror.

Some crossovers with Taika Waititi's movie What We Do in the Shadows also occured.

Renewal Campaign

Prior to the announcement in 2024 that the series would end after Season 2, fans organised the Renew as a Crew campaign. Efforts doubled and the campaign gained more popularity after the show was cancelled with fans organising to have an advert in Times Square running for two days (January 19th-21st) to bring attention to the efforts to save Our Flag Means Death.

Example Fanworks


  • Our Flag Means Undeath by CartoonMayor, A What We Do in the Shadows AU. In which Stede is kind of Nandor, Ed is kind of Guillermo, and Buttons is definitely Colin Robinson. (WWDITS fusion)
  • Off the Wall by Melliebae, Ed is an ex-convict and successful artist. Stede is a hot weirdo and wealthy art collector. Their chemistry is immediate but Stede has a secret that, for some reason unknown to Ed, keeps them apart. (Modern AU, slow burn, smut)
  • sorry he is to be hanged by zenith (DallonR), Edward Teach, also known as Blackbeard, knows how to weather any storm, with one exception: his feelings for the Gentleman Pirate, Stede Bonnet.
  • fine weather we're having by greaterporpoise, "You look rather fine yourself," he murmurs, tracing Stede's shirt collar, wondering what the bare skin beneath would feel like.
  • peccadilloes by Badgerette, On the benefits of literary references.
  • ne'er do wells by CaspianTheGeek (DemonicGeek), The fic where Stede Bonnet runs into Pirate!Aziraphale at a bookshop and Edward Teach looks on and pines. Crowley has some words of wisdom, but I'll leave it up to your imagination on whether Edward accepts them.
  • Piña coladas by Lottie, The 80s are in full swing, and the golden decade of Nintendo Gameboys’ and Sony Walkmans’ has never looked better. In the neon jungle, Stede Bonnet, a young salaryman, meets enigmatic mechanic apprentice Edward Teach, and the pair strike up an unlikely friendship via fax machine, page beepers and gifts in the mail.




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