Leo Manzano and the Mexican Flag

Leo Manzano celebrated winning a silver medal in the Olympics 1500 meter run by carrying two flags, a Mexican flag and an American flag around the track.  Manzano was born in Mexico and came to America later becoming an American citizen.  His carrying two flags has lead to various comments.  For example, Ruben Navarrette, Jr. writing for CNN expressed his disapproval of Manzano carrying the Mexican flag.  He pointed out that since Manzano was wearing a USA uniform his undivided loyalty should be to America.  I see his point, but I am ambivalent in that I can also see Manzano’s pride in his heritage.   In order to figure out what sort of dual flag waving is correct, I have listed possible scenarios under the photo.


Would it be acceptable for the following to happen:

1. A Jewish athlete who is an American citizen celebrating with American and Israeli flags

2. An American athlete from Texas celebrating with an American and a Texan flag

3. A Native-American athlete celebrating with an American flag and a tribal flag

4. An Irish-American athlete celebrating with an Irish and an American flag

5. An African-American athlete celebrating with an American flag and the flag of the African nation from which his ancestors were taken as slaves

The one real historical parallel I can see is to Cathy Freeman an Australian of aboriginal decent who ran celebratory laps carrying both an Australian and an aboriginal flag after winning the 400 in Sydney.




2 comments on “Leo Manzano and the Mexican Flag

  1. ikenelson says:

    The problem with your parallel is that Mexico is a foreign, sovereign country, while Aborigines are an ethnic group within the country of Australia. Waving the flag of a country different from the one you represent seems wrong. Mo Farah was born in Somalia and moved to England at age 8, but you only saw the Union Jack in his hands after he won two golds for Great Britain.

  2. Here are my thoughts:http://musingmaryann.wordpress.com/2012/08/14/leo-manzano-flag-flap-a-missive-on-mexican-immigration/

    Basically, turn the tables on Mexico and ask yourself if Manzano ran for Mexico and also held a US flag in his victory lap – What would Mexicans say and how much would his fine be from the Mexican government for misusing the flag?

    It is a double standard!

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