Recall the images from some years ago of the immigrant-rights marches in Los Angeles and elsewhere in which were prominently featured people carrying the flags of Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, and various other countries south of our own border. The message went out quickly that the sight of all those foreign flags made for “bad optics” in that the people carrying them were demanding amnesty and all manner of other benefits from the United States, the country whose flag was nowhere to be seen.
So, in subsequent marches, all those foreign flags were miraculously replaced by the Stars and Stripes, supposedly brought from the homes where they are ritually displayed on Independence Day, Memorial Day, and perhaps even Flag Day, demonstrating that the good people carrying them are not, after all, loyal to the countries they had left behind but rather to the good old U.S. of A.
So it was interesting to observe, on Monday, when I happened to be in downtown Los Angeles, the beginnings of a small demonstration and march by a group demanding passage of the DREAM Act. About 25 people gathered on a sidewalk near the Los Angeles Convention Center in preparation for a march to the nearby Marriott Hotel, where Governor Romney was making an appearance. All the marchers seemed ready and eager to go, but they were told to wait. For what, I wondered.
Then I saw: the Flag Man soon arrived. He came with sufficient U.S. flags -- some large, some small -- to equip all the marchers for their appearance before the television cameras waiting at the hotel. The march proceeded, and at its conclusion the Flag Man collected the props so they might be in readiness for the next march.