La bandera

danalbertwithpepinspanish.jpegOne of the most poignant anecdotes in Dan’s repertoire of family stories involves his mother and the Spanish Republican flag.

“When my mother received her citizenship papers, there was a celebration… held right down at City Hall.  This is 1940.  I was ten year old. But my mother, and dad, I remember them talking about this, because part of the ceremony was that you were to get your flag from your country, whether it was Italian, British or whatever it was, in her case it was Spanish, and you were to give up that flag, and in return, the person who was conducting the ceremony would then give you an American flag.  But the problem was that the flag that they [were going to give to] my mother [for her to surrender], the Spanish flag, was, to her, not the Spanish flag.  It wasn’t the flag of the Republic, it was really Franco’s flag, because by then he had taken over and he was the person that they developed the flag for.  I called it Franco’s flag. So, what was she to do?  Well, there was a big discussion that went on, and so, what happened is that she was determined to turn in what she called the real Spanish flag, and so she made one.  She made her own little flag.   And that day –and I’ll never forget this because I know looking back, and I knew at the time that that must have taken a lot of courage for her to do what she did.  So when her name was called, she went forward and she proceeded to give the flag.  And I think it was a Judge that was there.  And the Judge says:  “Well what flag is this?”  And she says:  “This is the real Spanish flag.  The flag of the Spanish Republic.” It was a classic moment.  I never forgot it.

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