Page pranks Fleming cannon


Page pranks Fleming cannon


By Natalya Kostandova
Monday, April 23, 2007

The student body awoke Thursday morning expecting the day to bring much change to campus, largely in form of a couple hundred prefrosh who arrived throughout the day. Not many, however, expected to see the Fleming Cannon turn blue.

The colorful change, accompanied by the sounds of "Blue (Da Ba Dee)" by Eiffel 65 coming out of a boom box across the Olive Walk, was quickly attributed to be Page's doing.

"We were very, very happy about how it worked out," said former Page president Sean Mattingly who, along with a handful of other Pageboys, painted the cannon. "We were afraid the color would come out turquoise, but it turned out a perfect blue. We were all amazed at how perfectly it matched our shirts. And I think the cannon looks better in blue than red."

Not everybody, however, was amused. Almost immediately upon discovering the prank, the Flems put on their reds, blared their own speakers at Page, and started stripping the blue paint off the base of the cannon.

Although the initial plan was to quickly paint the cannon back into its original red, the cannon was instead painted maroon and orange, colors of Virginia Tech. Rob Hunter, Fleming President, said, "We would not have otherwise considered painting it this way, but we took advantage of this opportunity to make a gesture towards Virginia Tech."

While some people have voiced their concern about the message that having a big gun painted in VT colors conveyed, Hunter explained that the cannon was meant as a tribute. He said, "The cannon is incredibly important to our House, and it is a symbol of honor. It is the most we have to give."

According to Mattingly, the timing of the prank, the idea for which had originated in the end of second term, did not have anything to do with the Prefrosh Weekend. "It just kind of worked out at that time," said Mattingly. "We had paint and we thought we should just do it." The painting started late Wednesday night and was finished before the wee of the hours on Thursday. The prefrosh arrived to Caltech campus later that day.

The cannon will now undergo a process of restoration to its original state. According to Hunter, all of the paint on the base has to be stripped off and the base has to repainted. In addition, some of the blue paint landed on the barrel and wheels of the cannon, which may require sanding of those parts.

"That was accidental," said Mattingly about the splashes on the wheels and barrel. "We tried to wipe off everything that we could see, but it was a hasty job and it was dark."

The Page prank was complete with three notes that Pageboys attached to the barrel of the cannon. One of the notes read "This is definitely a note," signed "Page," which is Page's signature on most of its pranks. The other two notes established the cannon as a Page House Phallic Symbol. The notes were removed by the Flems immediately upon their discovery of the prank.


Original Source: <a href=> The California Tech - April 23, 2007</a>


Natalya Kostandova




Sara Hood


Marissa Cevallos <>
editor-in-chief, The California Daily




Natalya Kostandova, “Page pranks Fleming cannon,” The April 16 Archive, accessed June 15, 2024,