Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Skelton On Flags And Messages

From today's column:

Problem is, pictures convey the message. . . .

They crowd out the intended message and blur the purpose of the demonstrations (besides serving as organizing tools for Latino, labor and Democratic groups): protesting legislation that deserves to be protested.

But those Mexican flags, the human traffic barricades, the school boycotts complicate the building of public support — and politically could hurt supportive Democrats among moderate voters.

"Marchers who carried American flags got it right," says Republican consultant Wayne Johnson. "They were saying, 'We embrace the American dream.' That was really smart. Marchers who carried Mexican flags, that was really dumb."

Democrat consultant Darry Sragow puts it this way: "The Mexican flag visually says, 'I'm not one of you. I'm from there.' If you wave the American flag, you're saying, 'I'm one of you' or 'I aspire to be one of you. Please help me.' The other message says, 'I'm getting in your face.' "

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