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
BOOK LAUNCH / FUNDRAISER FOR POLITICAL PRISONER OSCAR LOPEZ RIVERA
On the release of the English-language edition of his book Between Torture and Resistance
OSCAR LOPEZ RIVERA
The story of Puerto Rican leader Oscar López Rivera is one of courage, valor, and sacrifice. A decorated Viet Nam veteran and well-respected community activist, López Rivera now holds the distinction of being one of the longest held political prisoners in the world. Behind bars since 1981, López Rivera was convicted of the thought-crime of “seditious conspiracy,” and never accused of causing anyone harm or of taking a life. This book is a unique introduction to his story and struggle, based on letters between him and the renowned lawyer, sociologist, educator, and activist Luis Nieves Falcón.
In photographs, reproductions of his paintings, and graphic content, Oscar’s life is made strikingly accessible—so all can understand why this man has been deemed dangerous to the U.S. government. His ongoing fight for freedom, for his people and for himself (his release date is 2027, when he will be 84 years old), is detailed in chapters which share the life of a Latino child growing up in the small towns of Puerto Rico and the big cities of the U.S. It tells of his emergence as a community activist, of his life underground, and of his years in prison. Most importantly, it points the way forward.
With a vivid assessment of the ongoing colonial relationship between the U.S. and Puerto Rico, it provides tools for working for López Rivera’s release—an essential ingredient if U.S.-Latin American relations, both domestically and internationally, have any chance of improvement. Between Torture and Resistance tells a sad tale of human rights abuses in the U.S. which are largely unreported. But it is also a story of hope—that there is beauty and strength in resistance.
Program: Maria Kercado, Vice President of 1199 Union - Emcee
Matt Meyer, co-coordinator of the Encuentro Internacional de Derechos Humanos (International Conference on Human Rights), held in Puerto Rico, December 7-10, 2012 - Introduction of the book
VIDEO Clips: Messages of Archbishop Desmond Tutu and two other Nobel peace laureates made for the Encuentro Internacional
Keynote Speakers: * José López Rivera, brother of Political Prisoner Oscar - Reading of book * Luis Rosa, former Political Prisoner
Cultural Presentations: * Artist Juan Sanchez (to be confirmed) * Artesano de la Plena - Hermanos Velez (to be confirmed) * Poetry
Sponsors:Caribbean & Latin American Democratic Committee of 1199SEIU, National Boricua Human Rights Network, 1199SEIU, Comité de Puerto Rico en la ONU (Puerto Rico Committee in UN), Resistance in Brooklyn, Professor Ana M. López of the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Unit/Humanities Department at Hostos Community College, Friends of Puerto Rico Initiative
January 10, 2013 at 6pm
Book Launch / Fundraiser For Political Prisoner Oscar Lopez Rivera 310 W 43rd St Gallery New York , NY 10036 United States
The Puerto Rican Black Flag-Door,
at Calle San José at Viejo San Juan:
The original flag holds three red lines, the two white lines, the white star and the blue triangle that encompass the star. The same artists that painted the original came back between the night of the 4th of July (when, ironically, the USA celebrates its 240 years of independence)and the morning of the 5th of July 2016 to represent the crisis that strangles Puerto Ricans.
-USA invades Puerto Rico
-The Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico is formed (Translation: Associated Free State of Puerto Rico, aka colony).
-Muñoz Marín, Puerto Rico’s first democratically elected governor, appropriates a flag associated with the nationalist movement
-Artists paint the original flag
-Signing of PROMESA
-Artist paint the flag-door black.
March 1954 - Four Puerto Rican freedom fighters opened fire at US congressmen, from the visitors gallery at the US Capitol, as part of their campaign to free Puerto Rico from US colonialism and make it a sovereign nation once more.
The nationalists, identified as Lolita Lebrón, Rafael Cancel Miranda, Andres Figueroa Cordero, and Irving Flores Rodríguez, unfurled a Puerto Rican flag and began shooting at the 240 Representatives of the 83rd Congress, who were debating an immigration bill. Five Representatives were wounded, one seriously, but all recovered. The assailants were arrested, tried and convicted in federal court, and given long sentences, effectively life imprisonment. In 1978 and 1979, they were pardoned by President Jimmy Carter; all four returned to Puerto Rico. [video]/[video]
Enrique, endearingly called ‘Quique’ by his folks and close friends, is a 4th year student, captain of his high-school’s volley ball team. He’s mild mannered and serious and very good at filtering out distractions in order to focus on his game.
Nelson A. Denis, a former New York State assemblyman from East Harlem, argued recently
in The New York Times that “a gradual transition to independence would
allow both island and mainland to adjust to a sovereign and
self-sustaining Republic of Puerto Rico.”
“It is the only way to end this colonial tragedy,” he maintains.
In “War Against All Puerto Ricans: Revolution and Terror in America’s Colony”
(Nation Books), Mr. Denis recalls his shock as an undergraduate at
Harvard College that not a single entry in the 1973 card catalog at
Widener Library referred to Pedro Albizu Campos, whom he calls the
principal figure in Puerto Rican political history. (All the more
ironic, since Albizu Campos was also the first Puerto Rican to attend
book provides scathing insights into Washington’s response to Albizu
Campos’s nationalist party and its violent revolution in 1950 that still
has broad implications.
Whether or not readers embrace Mr. Denis’s conclusions, his perspective of largely overlooked history could not be more timely.
“If it helps you to understand the world in which we live,” he writes, “then I have done my job