The Mexican Flag: An All-American Symbol?

Violent mobs who have attacked Donald Trump supporters at one rally after another wave Mexican flags while burning American flags. The vast majority of Americans will disapprove, to say the least, so the Associated Press felt called upon to assure us that Mexican flags are really OK: “Mexican flag, seen at Trump protests, has long history in US.”

The flag of Mexico has a long history in the United States, despite being a symbol of a nation south of the border. It became a topic of discussion last week after a violent anti-Trump protest in Albuquerque.

Trump lashed out on Twitter after protests outside his Albuquerque rally sparked a riot that caused thousands of dollars in damage, condemning “thugs who were flying the Mexican flag.”

“Lashed out” is what reporters say when they want you to be skeptical of a remark that otherwise seems to be plain common sense.

The AP wants us to think that Mexico has legitimate grievances against the U.S., although how that is relevant remains unspoken:

After the United States took over a third of Mexico’s territory following the U.S-Mexican War in 1848, the flag remained a symbol of resistance due to broken promises outlined in Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, said David Correia, an American Studies professor at the University of New Mexico. That treaty said former Mexican citizens from New Mexico to California would be granted full American citizenship, but instead, they faced illegal land seizures by whites and decades of discrimination, Correia said.

Here, the AP relies on a left-wing activist who describes his academic interests as “Critical Environmental Politics, Critical Legal Studies, Marxism, New Mexico and the U.S. Southwest,” and who rejects the “the bourgeois notion that the individual is the privileged political actor in society.” In other words, the left-wing thug should be the privileged actor in society, which is what the anti-Trump rioters believe.

In Houston and parts of Texas in the 1920s and 1930s, Mexican immigrants used the flag as symbols for their mutual-aid societies that provided funeral insurance and avenues for other civic engagement, said Lorenzo Cano, associate director for the Center of Mexican American Studies at the University of Houston.

So it’s really about insurance? Not quite:

During the Chicano Movement of the 1970s, a more militant movement like the black power movement, activists proudly brought the Mexican flag to protests to showcase their ethnic pride, Jennie Luna, a Chicana/o Studies professor at California State University Channel Islands, said.

The AP has interesting sources. Ms. Luna says that she “received her undergraduate degree in Chicana/o Studies under the ‘unaffiliated’ designation, as it represented a product of the 1969 Third World Liberation Front….” She is “interested in notions of cultural consciousness as a tool for decolonization and healing, especially amongst transnational Indigenous Mexican migrant communities.”

Ms. Luna continues:

Dr. Luna’s research incorporates Nahuatl language study, representations of Indigeneity, and the role of women in the Intercontinental and global Indigenous movements. As a practicing doula/labor assistant, her other research interests include Indigenous women’s reproductive rights, traditional birthing methods and reproductive justice. …

She also promotes and centers on a decolonized diet, honoring body, mind, and spirit. She enjoys cooking Indigenous foods and learning about sacred medicines and herbs used for healing.

A “decolonized diet”? At least she isn’t engaged in cultural appropriation! But I digress. The real question is, does the Associated Press have any sources who are not far-left ethnic activists?

The AP’s effort to domesticate the Mexican flag continues:

Luna said today waving the Mexican flag is no different than Italian Americans waving the Italian flag in New York’s Little Italy or Irish-Americans carrying the Irish flag in South Boston. “The difference is that Mexican Americans have never been fully incorporated into the history of this country,” Luna said.

No, the difference is that Italian-Americans in New York don’t burn the American flag and chant, “Let’s make New York Italy again.” Whom is she trying to kid?

“On top of that, the language Trump uses reinforces the idea that all Mexicans are foreigners.”

Sorry to break it to you, Jennie, but all Mexicans are foreigners. Her apparent conflation of “Mexican” with “Mexican-American” is telling.

Karla Molinar, 21, a University of New Mexico student who was thrown out of the Trump rally in Albuquerque for disrupting his speech, said she saw nothing wrong with protesters waving the Mexican flag. “They are just showing that they are proud of where they came from and they won’t put up with the hate,” said Molinar, who was born in Mexico.

Great source, AP!

To its credit, the AP concludes with a dissenting voice:

Orlando Baca, a retired teacher in Santa Fe, New Mexico and a Republican…

Note that every person quoted in the article up to this point is a Democrat or worse, but no party affiliation has been stated.

…said it would have been better if Latino anti-Trump protesters, especially immigrants, started waving the American flag to highlight their grievances.

“If things are so good for some back in Mexico and you are so proud of being Mexican, then why didn’t you just stay there?” said Baca…

Good question!

…whose family’s presence in the United States goes back centuries. “If you are an American, be proud that you are an American. It’s about respect.”

The Associated Press, along with pretty much all other news outlets, will do its best to drag Hillary across the finish line. But try as it might, the AP won’t be able to convince 90% of voters that waving a foreign flag while burning the stars and stripes is as American as apple pie.