Jill Biden Gives Speech In front Of Nazi Inspired Flag
First lady Jill Biden didn’t have a particularly great Wednesday, considering she arrived in to give a speech to a simpatico union crowd in Delano, California, and left after a gaffe worthy of her husband and some on Twitter wondering if she spoke in front of a Nazi-inspired flag.
According to The New York Times, Biden traveled to a pop-up vaccination site for farmworkers to speak at an event hosted by the United Farm Workers union. The occasion was César Chávez Day — the birthday of the Hispanic labor organizer who founded the group that would eventually become the UFW.
This was originally touted as a success. The pull-quotes from publications like The Times were favorable.
“We depended on those who kept going to work every single day,” Biden told roughly 100 farmworkers and local politicians at the event.
“Without the farmworkers who kept harvesting our food, or the factory workers who packaged it, the grocery store clerks who stocked shelves, no one would have made it through this year.”
Immigration policy: “As president, Joe is fighting for people who often go unseen,” she said. “And that’s exactly the kind of immigration policy he’s working to build — one that treats children and families with dignity and creates fair pathways to citizenship, including for essential workers.”
Labor: “We are a union couple,” Biden told them.
What they didn’t report on were the problems. First, the slogan of the UFW is “Sí, Se Puede” — roughly translated as “Yes, We Can.” Next time, Jill, stick to the translation.
And then there’s that flag:
Even so, conservatives who took issue with it saw two problems. First, in 2020, USA Today published an infamous “fact-check” in which they examined whether “Trump campaign shirts feature imperial eagle, a Nazi symbol. Our ruling: True.”
“A symbol is an important thing. That is why we chose an Aztec eagle. It gives pride,” César Chávez was quoted as saying in the FAQ. “When people see it they know it means dignity.”
So no, it’s not a Nazi flag or anything close, particularly if you consider the radical views of the UFW. Whether it was inspired by the Nazi flag, however, is a different issue entirely.
From Smithsonian Magazine, November of 2013: “The story of the black eagle, the movement’s symbol, exemplifies Chavez’s skill as a tactician. He researched emblems, including cigarette boxes and Nazi flags, and concluded that the most potent color combination was red, black and white. He picked the eagle and directed his brother to draw the bird so simply that anyone could easily replicate the symbol.” (Emphasis ours.)
But no, not a Nazi symbol, just a flag reportedly influenced by the Nazis (and Marlboro packaging, too).
We’ve all kind of pushed “Sí, se pwodway,” and the problematic look of the UFW flag out of the news cycle, but it stayed there long enough to make a dent and blunt Jill Biden’s message. If only she’d learned how to pronounce “puede.”
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