Puerto Rican Flag Mishap. So Wrong.

By Melanie Edwards

The Puerto Rican Day Parade took place last weekend in New York City. The annual event is a celebrated one in the community and one I’ve never been able to experience, as much fun as it seems. I personally know the depth of pride Puerto Ricans have for our island, culture, and yes, our flag.

Imagine my surprise, then, when last Thursday I logged into Facebook per my usual morning routine and found myself staring at the following photo shared by my friend George “Urban Jibaro” Torres of Sofrito for Your Soul.

puerto rican day parade 2012 flag wrong

Do you see what’s wrong with this picture? In case you’re missing it, the piece is about the Puerto Rican Day Parade, but they used a Cuban flag!

Now, I know the flags of Puerto Rico and Cuba are fraternal twins, but that doesn’t give anyone the right to mistake one for the other – especially a newspaper! I imagine many eyes looked at this before it went to print and yet, no one caught the error? Really? In defense of the New York Daily News, they posted an apology on Facebook the same day and promised to fix the mistake in the Friday paper.

Nevertheless, the mistake was done. While it may seem like it’s not a big deal that one flag was confused for another, it really is. Let’s pretend another country’s flag was used instead of the American flag in an article talking about the U.S. – blasphemy, right? That’s kind of what this is like. You just don’t make these types of mistakes! It’s careless, thoughtless, and to many people, offensive.

This is not about rivalry between Puerto Ricans and Cubans. It is not about Boricuas not wanting to be called Cubans or vice versa. Both groups share many things and in the end, we’re both part of the same Latino culture. It is, however, about simple fact-checking and respecting individual communities. As a parent trying to teach my children about respecting diversity, different cultures, and individuals, this type of thing gets under my skin.

As George Torres says, “At the end of the day, todos somos hermanos…but the Puerto Rican Parade is something we are really proud of. A mistake like this reinforces that the media, in this case the Daily News and Viva New York, still has not connected with their Latino readers.”

Melanie Edwards is the founder and editor of ModernMami™ — an award-winning lifestyle blog, and owner of Ella Media, whose focus is to connect businesses with today’s digital Latina. Married 9 years, Melanie is the proud mother of a 6-year-old girl and 1-year-old boy, who are being raised in a bilingual, multicultural environment. Originally from Puerto Rico, Melanie now resides in Orlando, Florida.

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By Contributor on June 13, 2012 · Posted in el buzz, headline

7 Comments | Post Comment

Caroline Murphy says:

Wow! That is horrible!

Posted on June 13th, 2012

Melanie Edwards - Ella Media & ModernMami.com says:

Thanks for featuring me and letting me share my thoughts! :)

Posted on June 13th, 2012

Chantilly Patiño (@biculturalmom) says:

Omg, Melanie! This is awful! George’s comment really sums it up too! A serious disconnect from the very community that this parade supposedly serves! Ridiculous!

Where were the Latinos who were working on this? There couldn’t have possibly been any boricuas who would miss this, so I have to wonder…who is planning this whole thing!?

Posted on June 13th, 2012

Melanie Edwards - Ella Media & ModernMami.com says:

There was word that the normal staff member that did layouts for the newspaper, a Boricua, had been recently let go. But, ummm…that’s no excuse.

Posted on June 13th, 2012

George Torres says:

From an editorial perspective… it was a bad mistake. I think we take it a little more personally because their are no really balanced images of us in the media. That is something we struggle with daily… feeling like the media does not “know us”.

Posted on June 13th, 2012

Stan says:

Thanks for this post. I imagine it would have caused a riot if published in Florida, where the Cuban refugees, are the major group of Latin Americans.
Stan´s last [fabulousness] ..A Crazy Olympics Fundraiser

Posted on June 14th, 2012

Melanie Edwards - Ella Media & ModernMami.com says:

Stan, in NYC there is a heavy population of Puerto Ricans. In Orlando, there’s also a heavy population of Puerto Ricans, and like you mentioned Miami is known for their large community of Cubans. So, I think it offends many, regardless of location.

Posted on June 14th, 2012