Immigrants And Flags

Some argue that the presence of the Mexican flag at immigration reform demonstrations signifies disrepect for this country (the argument being that if you are aspiring to legal residency and possible American citizenship, “Old Glory” is the only flag you should wave). I almost bought into this argument but in a nostalgic moment I recalled that the Italian flag was prominently displayed at festivals. I mentioned this to my son who reminded me that even today St. Patrick Day events prominently feature the Irish flag. Immigrants and in some cases their descendants have always brandished the flag of "the old country" albeit more in celebrations rather than demonstrations. So what is wrong with a Mexican immigrant honoring the flag of his native country along with “Old Glory”? Nothing as long as this country is his country of choice and the country that he left is an important part of his past but only his past. Flags are banners and we should be careful about revering them as religious-like icons.

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