Since its inception, the Puerto Rican Day Parade has been a flamboyant display of flags on, basically, any and every surface. Whether chancletas or a bikini, the Puerto Rican flag is a staple of pride that gets its spotlight every June on Fifth Avenue.
While it may seem an ostentatious exhibit, the unapologetic display of Puerto Rican flags is, in fact, a political statement. Rooted in Puerto Rico’s Nationalist Party, the island’s flag was banned by a Gag Law in 1948. The law prohibited the possession and display of any monoestrellada, as the flag is commonly known in the island. It wasn’t until 1952, when Governor Luis Muñoz Marín established the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, that the island formally adopted the flag as its official emblem.
The history of repression and colonization is a repetitive theme for the Puerto Rican community, both in and out of the island, who’ve adopted the symbol of the flag as a statement of resistance. More recently, artists in the island have recreated the flag in black and white as a metaphor of the collective mourning Puerto Ricans currently experience in the middle of an economic, social, and political crisis, that was exacerbated by Hurricane María in 2017.
Therefore, the Puerto Rican Day Parade is an annual chance to celebrate survival and resistance the only way boricuas know how: being extra proud. We can only expect the best fashion to come.
Here are a few ideas, so that you can represent la bandera: