The Puerto Rican flag highlights the intense pride of Boricuas in the culture and heritage. Never forgetting where you came from, La Isla de Encanta, stays within the hearts of all Puerto Ricans, even those in the diaspora. A famous Puerto Rican, Lin-Manuel Miranda, transformed this pride into a musical about Latinos. In the Heights, perpetuates the pride of being Puerto Rican, and Latino, with an emotional story line and moving lyrics. Both the Flag and the Musical present commonplaces and ethos to connect to Puerto Ricans, as well as any person with ears, compelling them to engage civically within their communities and elsewhere.
Body Paragraph 1:
“The way they whispered to each other about the warmer winter weather, inseparable, even got sick together. They never got better, passed away the December, and left me with these memories like dying embers from a dream I can’t remember. Ever since then it’s like another day deeper in debt with different dilemmas…abuela I don’t know how I can keep it together….Remember the story of your name…the day your family came.”
– Everyone, no matter what culture or belief system, can identify with existential crises. Furthermore, everyone seeks wisdom from their abuelas, their grandmothers, because their white hairs don’t just symbolize age but wisdom.
- Compare this idea to existential crises of the Puerto Rican people…symbolized by flag
Body Paragraph 2:
” Everything is easier when you’re home.”
- It is amongst the bounds of the human condition to enjoy your home. Whether it be hundreds of miles away or down the road, humans, no matter who they are, desire to return to familiarity at the end of the day.
- This compares to the desire of many Puerto Ricans to visit Puerto Rico, underlined in the exhalation of the Puerto Rican flag.
Body Paragraph 3:
“When I was younger I’d imagine what would happen if my parents had stayed in Puerto Rico. Who would I be if I had never seen Manhattan? If I lived in Puerto Rico with my people, my people…working harder, learning Spanish, learning all I can.”
- This sentiment goes along with body paragraph number two.
- Many Puerto Ricans in the diaspora struggle with identity, some not knowing Spanish, seeking to find their place in the world. What would have happened if our parents stayed in Puerto Rico (or elsewhere)? This idea can connect with the general populace as well, since human thinking is guarded to the pondering of “what-ifs”.
Body Paragraph 4:
“Alza la bandera…La Bandera de Puertoriqueña…Pa’ribba esa bandera…recuerdo mi tierra…y cuando yo me muera…Entiérrame en mi tierra! From Puerto Rico to Santo Domingo wherever we go we rep our people and the beat goes!”
[Raise the flag, the Puerto Rican flag, Raise this flag, I remember my land, and when I die, bury me in my land.”
- This song lyric is the clearest connection between the musical and the Puerto Rican flag.
- In raising the flag, the lyrics dictate its importance. Wherever the flag’s people go, the flag, and all the sentiments surrounding it, also go.
Conclusion: The Puerto Rican flag and the musical, In the Heights, portray the Puerto Rican experience in a way that is universally civic.