I snapped this photo of the Mexican bandera tonight after the game. To my non-Spanish speaking family and friends, a bandera is not a group of Mexicans looking to tag their gang sign on the side of a building. It is a flag. I bought one tonight in honor of Mexico's soccer team beating El Salvador to win a World Cup berth. I can not bring myself to calling the game futbol. It sounds too much like football and like any good American I know that football is really the sport where 11 players in helmets try to move a oval shaped ball across the end zone. Yes, I am American. I will always be American and very proud of it. I have issues about saluting the Mexican flag during Honors at the school where I teach, especially since one of their salutes reminds me of "Heil Hitler" with the raised arm. Don't get me wrong. I don't think the Mexicans are trying to imitate Nazis or anything like that. In fact, in 1942 Mexico declared war on Germany and Japan. I think my issues are deep-rooted from my primary school days when all schoolchildren in the good ol' USA were indoctrinated to say the Pledge of Allegiance to our American flag. Anyhoo, I am way off the topic now. So I bought a Mexican flag. I like the colors; red, white and green. The next time Mexico plays, I will happily wave the flag and cheer Mexico on. I hope they take the World Cup. Heck, I may even salute the flag. OK, let's not get crazy.
I taught 5th grade for 2 years in Mexico near the border of Texas. Unfortunately, gun battles, grenades, narco-blockades, and thieves ran me out of town. Then, by a twist of fate, I became the guardian to my orphaned nephews and moved to the safer, saner, and much colder state of Iowa.