June 25, 2010


World Cup brings Mexican flags back to streets of Los Angeles: After years of relative political banishment, the red, white and green flags are flying in a display of cultural pride. Some find their symbolism less inflammatory in the context of sports, not politics. (Hector Becerra, 6/24/10, Los Angeles Times)

Concerned that the Mexican flag carried the wrong message, Mexican American political leaders and other activists launched a largely successful effort to have people at public events, particularly protest marches, wave the American flag, believing it to be a better symbol for their case.

But with the World Cup in full swing, Haro proudly has affixed his Mexican flag to his Toyota RAV4 and cheered for the team of his parents. The American flag is fine for politics, he said, but this is soccer.

"My allegiance is to America, no doubt about it, and I'd think I wouldn't have to prove it," said Haro, a 25-year-old utility worker. "But when I wave the Mexican flag for soccer, it's strictly cultural. It's showing I'm proud of my Mexican background."

After years of being downplayed at large political rallies that regularly punctuated the L.A. landscape, the World Cup has given the Mexican flag some of its big event presence back.

The red, white and green banners hang from cars on the freeway, wave inside countless bars and eateries during games and are even held proudly by cyclists riding through downtown L.A.

With the Mexican team having survived preliminary rounds and scheduled to play Sunday against Argentina in the Round of 16, fan loyalty — and flags — are likely to be at a highly visible peak.

A Mexico vs. US final might be the highest rated television program in human history.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 25, 2010 6:34 AM
blog comments powered by Disqus
« AMERICA'S OTHER PASTIME: | Main | INAPPROPRIATE FRIDAY (some listeners may take offense, all will have trouble ridding their head of the tune...): »