For many countries the flag embodies the "the soul" of their country, and for many countries that suffered the fate of an evil dictatorship (be it communist, fascist, nazi, or whatever other evil) the flag was lost or altered. This is true for China, Germany, Poland, Russia, and so on. However, this is not true for Cuba. The Cuban flag was concieved by Narciso Lopez while laying on a park bench in New York and finalized (in terms of star position and shade of blue) in 1906 under Presidente Estrada. The three blue stripes represent the three original provinces (Oriente, Central, and Occidente), and the two white stripes represent justice and peace. The red triangle is for the blood that was given for Cuba's freedom; blood that surrounds and contains the singular star of Cuban unity. Honorable men fought and died for this flag. Many of these men are family and encompass a great national heritage that we are all to be proud of today. All of this is found in the Cuban flag, and castro knew better than to mess with it back in 1959.
It is now 2007, and when I look at my Cuban flag I can only think of a Cuba where the white stripes of justice and peace are tainted black with the failure and corruption of communism. Where the blue stripes of the original three provinces now take on the form of steel jail bars that imprison those who speak their minds. Where the red triangle of blood that were of the Mambises and other Cuban heroes now represent the blood shed in the Florida straights as another group of balseros make their way to the US. Where the solitary star is now fractured by the Cuban's on the island and off the island. The flag may wave in Cuba and in exile, but anyone can see that the flags represents nothing real –Cuba has lost it's soul.
Yet I do not wallow in gloom because unlike other countries our flag was never taken away. Yes our land was raped and our people tortured. Yes many mouths were silenced by an unjust system as our country was violently stripped away.
Nevertheless, the flag endures.
The soul of Cuba has been removed from its land and people, but it still exists in our flag as a symbol of truth. A truth that there is "no slavery so great that does not surge toward a greater redemption." A symbolism of truth that not even castro's corruption could taint. In this truth lies our struggle and our unity in cause. There is no justice and peace in Cuba and we must fight for it. There is no unity in Cuba and we must strive for it. There is merciless bloodshed in Cuba and we must raise our voices against it. There is no other flag like our own and there never will be. We must do our best to embody the truth and ideal that it represents. Only then can we find our hope for a future in Cuba. It is a hope that begins in each one us –a hope that is found in our embodiment of our Cuban flag.