by caribe usa


Puerto Rico’s (Black) Flag:

Originally created in 1895 and inspired by the Cuban flag, its colors represented resistance and independence from Spain.

Red: the blood of the patriots
White: victory and peace
Light-Blue Triangle: the sea and the sky
Star: the Island

After the invasion of the United States in 1898 and the emergence of a nationalist movement it was used by Puerto Rico’s radical left and was banned by the government. In 1952 the flag was appropriated by Luis Muñoz Marín as the official Puerto Rican flag. Under the Estado Libre Asociado of Puerto Rico (Free Associated State of PR, or loosely translated as the Commonwealth of PR, aka colony) the flag received a new meaning, silencing the previous one.

Red: the blood of the republican government
White: the freedom and rights of the people.
Dark-Blue Triangle: the republican government, a dark-blue to resemble USA’s flag
Star: Commonwealth of Puerto Rico

…Then, a Black Puerto Rican Flag appeared on a door in San Juan. The original flag was painted by a group of artists in 2012 and became a tourist attraction. The Black Flag was painted by the same artists between the night of 4th and the 5th of July 2016. The new colors represent Puerto Rico’s crisis, the failure of our government, but also our will to stand against the people who have failed us. In a recent letter the artists encouraged this new reading.

Black: the putrid blood of the government
White: our rights, still standing
Triangle: the death of the the government that failed us
Star: Puerto Rico’s will to fight

“En la actualidad el triángulo representa las tres ramas del Gobierno: ejecutivo, legislativo y judicial. Las tres franjas rojas simbolizan la sangre que da vida a estos poderes. Las leyes, los gobernantes y los tribunales, hasta este momento, no han servido a los intereses del pueblo. Reemplazar con color negro (que es la ausencia de luz) crea nuevas lecturas. La nuestra es una propuesta de resistencia, no es pesimista, al contrario, habla sobre la muerte de estos poderes tal cual los conocemos, pero la esperanza sigue ahí representada en las franjas blancas que simbolizan la libertad del individuo y su capacidad para reclamar y hacer valer sus derechos”

-Artistas Solidarixs y en Resistencia

May 26, 1968
I landed at Dong Tam due to a hydraulic failure. The tower asked me to “land long,” so I did. Since their ground handling wheels were broken, the tower re-opened the runway. This Caribou did a fine job of missing us as it took off. The guy on the right is unknown; the shirtless guy is doorgunner SP4 Dennis Akers. Dennis was KIA nine days after this photo was taken. He died in the crash of helicopter #65-10019 after it was hit by a rocket propelled grenade.