The Meaning Behind Banksy’s ‘Flying Copper’ – Explained

According to Banksy’s 2003 description, “Flying Copper” is a “Deluxe and very large screen print of a flying pig. Apparently popular with the boys in blue (actually true).

Banksy’s “Flying Copper” artwork depicts an armed police officer wearing a yellow smiley face, reminiscent of the 1990s acid house culture. The officer’s back is adorned with angel wings, symbolising the expression “pigs will fly.” This thought-provoking artwork encourages us to maintain a critical attitude towards those in positions of authority or power. It reminds us that even those meant to uphold the law can sometimes be corrupted.

“Flying Copper” was first displayed on cardboard and suspended from the ceiling at the Turf War exhibition in the East End of London in 2003. It’s believed that the arrests of police officers involved in drug trafficking and drug abuse at the time may have inspired the artwork, further emphasising its message. Banksy aptly notes,

The Greatest Crimes in the World are not Committed by People Breaking the Rules but by People Following the Rules.”

Banksy released screenprints of the work with two different background colours, blue and pink. The edition totals 150 signed prints and 600 unsigned prints, as well as eight artists’ proofs with pink faces and 63 artists’ proofs with pink backgrounds.

Banksy – Flying Copper (Unsigned) Print

Banksy’s Flying Copper

Year: 2003

Medium: Screenprint in colours on wove paper

Size: 100×70 cm (39 3/8 x 27 1/2 inches)

Publisher: Pictures on Walls

Editions: Signed Edition: 150 and Unsigned Edition: 600

Artist’s Proofs Editions Pink AP: 63 signed AP and Pink Face AP: 8 signed AP

Banksy’s “Flying Copper” artwork has been featured in various murals across Europe, including a whole bridge in Shoreditch, East London. This iconic image of the acid-face copper has also appeared in other Banksy artworks, including “Have a Nice Day.

View artwork here.

Banksy’s “Flying Copper” artwork is a satirical take on authority and power, a common theme in his work. The print is a bold and striking image that challenges the viewer to question the actions of those in positions of authority.

To purchase this Banksy Flying Copper print, unsigned or signed, please visit our online store. Alternatively, you can contact us at GraffitiStreet, and we’ll be more than happy to assist you with your art purchase.



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