In recent weeks, hundreds of thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets all across the nation to protest right-wing immigration proposals. As Media Matters has documented, the fact that some demonstrators carry the Mexican flag has elicited the ire of conservative pundits. For example, Robert Novak has said:
I am no hard-liner on immigration who wants to expel 11 million illegal immigrants, but flags are a symbol of national identity. The student brandishing the Mexican flag signals divided loyalty or perhaps loyalty to a foreign power.
But President Bush himself has publicly brandished the Mexican flag. ThinkProgress has obtained a copy of a five-minute ad that the 2004 Bush campaign distributed to Hispanic supporters. In the ad, Bush can be seen waving a Mexican flag while embracing a young girl. (Watch the full ad HERE.)
What Novak and others fail to understand is that carrying the flag is not a sign of divided loyalty but a demonstration of an American value — understanding and appreciating immigrant culture.