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.
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.”
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
“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
"We are a relatively close on-line community.
And with every passing Shindig, we become closer in real life too.”~FLYHEAD
"...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
“I say a Browncoat is someone who is
very independent and stubborn.
We don't give up easily or willingly.” ~BRENDAC20