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:
Yo Soy boricua earrings
These earrings by AirbySir made from wood and acrylic paint are a unique way to represent Boricua pride, no matter the outfit you choose to wear.
A boricua flag sarong
Let’s be real. These Manhattan streets get as hot as a caldero, so surviving the hours-long parade is all about comfort. A sarong made from Puerto Rican flags is the perfect option to avoid extra sweat.
Boricua dogs are also too proud to shy away from the parade. Show off your Puerto Rican Terrier’s identity with a bandana made from a flag.
A minimal T-shirt
Channel your inner San Benito with this tee by the Ricky Martin Foundation, benefiting victims of Hurricane María on the island.
Nike Air Max Puerto Rico
The new drop en la calle are Nike’s latest tribute to Puerto Rico featuring tiny banderas on the backs.
Hija de tu Madre jacket
This Hija de tu Madre jacket is the way to go if you want to keep your statement chic. If sequins aren’t your thing, sew your own bandera to the back of any jacket to achieve the look.
A glitzy cape
If you want to go all out, go for a cape that Walter Mercado would be proud of. Or see if you can borrow this custom-made cape from its new owner, Lin-Manuel Miranda.