Insignias Wiki


Other names • Browncoats
First Appearance Firefly TV Series episode: "Serenity part 1"


The Independents were a coalition of colonies who refused to accept the Alliance's authority over their own territory in the TV Series Firefly . This refusal lead the bloody Unification War that was lost by the Independents. Few specific details have been shown about pre-defeat visual identity save for a few flashbacks.


The uniform worn by the Independents during the Unification War is seen only in flashbacks during the


episodes Serenity part 1 & The Message. The image to the right represent only a typical Browncoat since as befit their situation, there is a tremendous amount of variation between individuals. Despite differences in term of shades, colours always seem to follow an autumnal scheme with orangy brown, dark red and faded green.

The typical uniform is as follow: 

  • A dull greenish helmet (identical to US world war 2 vintage) with a brown stripe back-to-front. one appear to have one which is almost the same beige as their pants. 
  • A coarse scraf around the neck. Most appear to be brown but 2 characters (a caporal and a sergeant) have red ones. A lieutenant seen in close-up might have a green scraf but it could simply be a part of his undershirt.
  • A brown coat (appears to be made of sackcloth in some cases) going to the knee or longer. Some cut off the arms revealing a black chainmail like shirt underneat. Some characters have a badge on the upper right sleeve.
  • A dark red sleeveless vest with beige stripes of cloths in the front (the number seen here is speculative). Depending on individuals, it is worn either above or under the trenchcoat.
  • beige pants with brown stripes going down the sides.
  • black booths worn under wrap-around gaiters. There doesn't realy seem to be any standard.
  • Many wear dark cut off gloves. They seem to be of the same material as the coats. 

As the only 2 scenes with the independents took place on a battlefield, it is unknown if this was intended to be their sole uniform or if a walking out or dress uniforms also existed.


2 shoulder badges have been shown during flashback scenes in Serenity part 1 and The Message that are identical save for the border being either black or green. A third one with a gold border shows up in the Visual Companion book. According to the costume designer's notes, these were supposed to be rank badges although whether this meant actual ranks (sergeant vs lieutenant) or relative ones (officer vs enlisted) is unknown.

The green bordered one is shown to be worn by a lieutenant and the black bordered one by a sergeant in the tv show. Regarding the latter, the badge was worn with the star pointing down on screen but the costumes' designer later mentioned that this was simply a wardrobe mistake (a fact supported by preliminary sketches). The gold bordered one only seem to have appeared in the Visual Companion.

Although the significance of their exact design was never really adressed in-story, most fans have come to assume that a blue star with 2 yellow bar on green was the symbol of the Independents as a whole (as opposed to a units badge) a rectangular version can be seen used as a flag in many fan art despite never have been seen as such onscreen.