But in whatever language, why should Cinco de Mayo matter to Texans?
That is the question posed to numerous children by reporter Vianna Davila in the San Antonio Express-News.
Here is my answer. If the neighboring Mexican Army under the command of General Ignacio Zaragoza had not defeated the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862, undermining the power of the French-installed emperor, Maximilian (read C.M. Mayo‘s The Last Prince), who knows what flag might have ended up flying over Texas? Perhaps, the ambitious Emperor Napoleon III might have used Mexico as a stepping stone to seize major portions of the United States, vulnerable and weak following years of civil war.
In Texas, the collective historical memory is selective. Six (or more according to some historians) flags should mean more than a theme park. And the American flag has only flown over this state half as long as those of Spain and Mexico.
And at least this is not Arizona, whose “free to be” “brand essence” tourism campaign now rings hollow. Below is cartoonist Steve Benson’s Cinco de Mayo greeting from The Arizona Republic.
The rich cultural mix in San Antonio makes this a great place to live. As the Six Flags website says: “More flags. More fun.”
Note added on July 13: C.M. Mayo now has a second blog for those seriously researching the “French Intervention” in Mexico and also provides podcasts online of some of her presentations on both her writing and writing in general.
When I went to link to her new blog, came across an entry about Don Miles’ Cinco de Mayo. The post also contains the news that Austin already is planning a four-day celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Pueblo, including a reenactment of the battle itself, for May 2012. Will San Antonio sit back and be upstaged?
5 thoughts on “‘More Flags. More Fun.’”
Lily said it all in the EN: “Because, the country’s just right there, and those Texans here in America, we’re Mexicans.”
No reason to try to explain life in this cradle of Tex-Mex any more clearly than that.
The Texas Centennial recognized some of our Mexican patriots and priests, in addition to all the missions I never even knew about:
Placido Olivarri, Jose Antonio Navarro, Captain Jose Antonio Menchaca, Col. Jose Francisco Ruiz, Juan de Padilla, Lorenzo de Zavala.
Most are in the album for Bexar County.
Sarah – Great website. In addition to your markers, I love the Centennial souvenir section. I have been kicking myself for dropping the ball in an ebay quest for a Texas Centennial charm bracelet. Wish I had bid higher.
Would you settle for a tietack? 😉