Tuesday, June 12, 2012

New York Daily News Celebrates Puerto Rican Day Parade by Running Ad Showing Cuban Flag

I may be late to mark the occasion of New York's Puerto Rico Day Parade, but at least I got the flag correct, damn it!

It seems as though the Daily News ended up screwing the vexilogical pooch in a print ad they ran to promote their float in this year's Puerto Rican Day Parade.
Although the float featured New York Giants (and former UMASS Minuteman) Wide Receiver Victor Cruz, the ad that the Daily News ran prominently featured an unfurled Cuban flag.

I do believe the only proper reaction to this monumental gaffe is what the kids are calling "facepalm" these days. Although similar in terms of layout, the Puerto Rican flag features a single white star on a blue sideways triangle against a background of red and white stripes while the Cuban flag features a red triangle against a backdrop of blue and white stripes. Interestingly, the similarities between the two flags' design was no accident. With both Cuba and Puerto Rico still under Spanish rule in the mid-19th century, the flags were designed by exiled revolutionaries from both islands who were living in New York at the time.

After the United States annexed Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines and Guam from Spain in the Spanish American War, Cuba declared its independence in 1902, adopting their current flag. However, Puerto Rico's status since then has been much more ambiguous with sentiment ranging from full fledged independence to becoming America's 51st state. Since the 1950s, the status quo of a Commonwealth whose residents are considered American citizens [thus freely travelling between the continental USA and Puerto Rico- NANESB!] but cannot vote in federal elections has been maintained.

Puerto Rican flags done oh-so-right

As far as flag-centered gaffes goes, this would be akin to showing an Italian flag in a print ad highlighting a St Patrick's day parade float. With the 2010 Census putting the number of Puerto Ricans in New York City at more than 723,000 (still the largest latino group in the five boroughs).

I mean seriously....how hard would it have been for a designer or editor to take maybe two minutes out of their schedule and make sure they were using the proper flag in the ad?

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