Mexican flag comes out of political exile in L.A.
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.
Four years ago, Miguel Haro was among half a million people who marched for immigrant rights in downtown L.A. At the urging of organizers and Spanish-language disc jockeys, he left his Mexican flag at home and waved an American flag instead.
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.
Read Times staff writer Hector Becerra's full story here. In the video above, he talks about the symbolism of the flag.
Photo: The Mexican flag is carried by a soccer fan roaming Plaza Mexico in Lynwood on Monday. 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. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times