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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Back to the Future Flags - Part I, the Pennant Streamers

Rainbow Pennant Streamers
Back to the Future - 1985

It was 56 years ago today that history was torn asunder when Dr. Emmit Brown was inspired to create the flux capacitor which allows for the possibility of time travel - on Saturday November 5, 1955. Coincidentally today's date is Saturday November 5, 2011.

Dr. Brown would have to wait another 30 years until the other fields of technology caught up with him. And in 1985 he constructed a time machine out of a DeLorean.

This is the premise of Back to the Future - which became a glorious gem in Hollywood. It was one of those experimental untested plots that marketing departments were afraid to touch - since it didn't fit into their profit plan margins. But Universal Studios took a leap of faith and the results were extraordinary.

Flags or rather vexilloids also play an important role in this film. The key 'flags' that save the day are Pennant Strings or Pennant Streamers. The Pennant Strings make an appearance in all three movies. In Back to the Future 1985 - we see them as attention getting decorations for the developers of Lyon Estates, where Marty McFly lives in 1985. They are a rainbow of colours that includes red, orange, yellow, green, sea green, sky blue, dark blue and white.

Marty McFly's Dream Automobile
a custom 4x4 Toyota Pickup


The Pennant Streamers make a second appearance in Part I on a Black Toyota Truck that Marty wishes for while standing in center of town. The amazing coincidence is that the Pennant Streamers on the 'Custom 4x4 for Statler Toyota' are the similar to the ones used for Lyon Estates in 1955. It makes sense since an R&D budget for Pennant Streamers is low or non-existent, for flag manufactures.



Back to the Future, Part II - 1989


Happy Marty McFly

with Yellow Pennant Streamer

In Back to the Future Part II 1989, the Pennant Streamers play a more star studded role. The pimped out DeLorean may have gotten Marty and Doc into a temporal pretzel knot, but unconventional help from these small triangular flags, pushes the plot forward. It is an echo of the axiom, you never know where help will come from.

Sad Marty McFly
with Red Pennant Streamer Flag

The Pennant Streamers run the gambit of high and low for Marty McFly, sort of like the time machine. It can bring on positive and sometimes negative results.

On close inspection of the Pennant Streamers one may notice that they are different between Part I and Part II. The Pennant Streamers in Back the Future - Part II 1989 do not have the colour blue and seem out of order. This is easily explained by the temporal ripple effect that alters reality a wee bit, with each time jump.

This also explains the two physical forms of Jennifer Parker. With all this time jumping, it causes two variants of Jennifer Parker to appear - or rather two realities. However neither Marty nor Doc are aware of Ms. Parker's physical chrono-shift.

The time ripple effect explains the slight physical
change with Jennifer Parker

This also means that Doc and Marty's perception of the original Jennifer Parker 'has, is, or was' wiped away from existence in their mind or rather, replaced. Marty may not have noticed, since his life force is so intimately linked with Jennifer's on a sub-cosmic level.

Nonetheless it is the same Jennifer Parker in all realities. Thus the difference of Pennant Streamers between to Part I and Part II is due to the "Time Ripple." This also explains the discrepancy between some the predictions of 2015 that seem way off their mark. But we are allowed to see the shift - or alternate time line-reality.*

In the time line where George McFly stands up to the bullies and becomes a successful writer it also changes his future world. George McFly's successful work as a science fiction writer inspires others into the field of science. Consequently his inspirational writing advances technology, by the year 2015 the world has cold fusion, hover boards, flying cars, and the cascade of events see that Princess Diana of 1985-A does not die in a car crash in 1997 via the butterfly effect. Rather Princess Diana lives on to visit Washington in 2015. Gene Roddenberry had a similar effect when he wrote about his 'imaginary' or rather visionary universe of Star Trek.


Back to the Future Part III - 1990

In the final chapter the Pennant Streamers make a small cameo in the last scene. Once again they serve as decorations for selling new homes. But the colours are limited to yellow and sky blue.

The Pennants are barely visible in the background right before the drag race.


Power of Love by Huey Lewis and the News 1985


up next --- - - - - - -
THE VEXILLOLOGY OF BACK TO THE FUTURE PART II
The US and California State Flags


*Also when this movie was being made there was another time split of 1985-V that featured Eric Stolz as Marty McFly. This is where, from our point of view, the 'aborted part II back to the 1960s episode' resonates from. And in that timeline Michael J. Fox's career ends with Teen Wolf and Michael Dukakis is elected president in 1988.

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