In honor of the Philadelphia Union’s first Pride Night to celebrate the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, and Asexual (LGBTQIA) community, the Sons of Ben created a rainbow flag tifo with the club’s “We Are One” motto imposed over a silhouette of the Philadelphia skyline.
- The initial sketches of the ideas that would become the tifo. Ryan Bross
- Concept sketch of the tifo without the stenciling Ryan Bross
- Concept sketch of the tifo with gray stenciling Ryan Bross
- Concept sketch of the tifo with black stenciling Ryan Bross
- Painting the solid color bars on the tifo. Ryan Bross
- Creating the rainbow background Ryan Bross
- Laying out the tifo and painting the colors of the rainbow Ryan Bross
- The finished rainbow portion. Ryan Bross
- Storing the tifo to keep it out of the elements. Ryan Bross
- Painting the silhouette of the Philadelphia skyline. Ryan Bross
- Adding the “We Are One” lettering to the tifo Ryan Bross
- The finished stencil Ryan Bross
- The stenciled logos spray painted on concrete to test the pattern. Ryan Bross
- Stenciling the Jolly Franklin, Union snake, and “LOVE” icons onto the tifo Ryan Bross
- Close-up of the Jolly Franklin stencil Ryan Bross
- Watching the stenciling on the top half of the tifo dry. Ryan Bross
- Close-up of the stenciling and lettering detail work. Ryan Bross
Sons of Ben Tifo Director Ryan Bross told me a little about the tifo. “We (Mollie and I) prepped the day after the friendly and then I went down on that Monday because there it was going to rain. I pulled the tifo up with like five minutes to spare. Since I was down there I went out to get the new colors needed (purple, green, orange) and finished all but the orange. I left the lot around 11.
On Friday, I finished the design of the stencil for the pattern before heading down to Philly from North Jersey where I work during the week.
Next time I was able to get down there was Saturday. All Saturday and Sunday was spent under porch of the old building since there was a 60% chance of rain all weekend. I got the colors, skyline, and copy all laid out before leaving late Saturday. I need was up til about 4:00 AM cutting the stencil for the next day. Went down Sunday around noon and picked up spray paint on the way. Spent the next eight or so hours using the stencil to make the pattern. Laid a highlight and shadow on the letters that I had painted with a broom the day before. And left the lot around 11:45.”
The irony of this being unveiled on the day that President Trump announced that transgender soldiers will no longer be allowed in the military should be lost on no one. The tifo is a magnificent symbol of the inclusivity of the Sons of Ben and the Philadelphia Union. The rainbow tifo also has black and brown included in it, as the eight-color Pride flag was created in Philadelphia as a show of solidarity to people of color within the LGBTQIA community. There are also stenciled images of the Sons of Ben’s Jolly Franklin, Robert Indiana’s iconic “LOVE” design featured in Philadelphia’s Love Park, and a new design of the Union snake superimposed over a diamond with the Commodore Barry Bridge as the top point of the diamond.