Why did the parade stop after the 1999 parade?
There are a few myths out there according to a Republican's American Article - June 8, 2014 -
"Some locals suggested the parade was canceled because of its immensity and rowdiness which ended up with rubber marks left on the brick pavers along East Main Street in downtown. Ronny Vasquez, the then-president of the Connecticut Puerto Rican Parade Committee, said the damage was caused by a car club forbidden to participate in the procession. Calderon confirmed that the disappearance of the parade was not a result of the tire marks being left behind." Ultimately the Parade was never continued due to a mix of the myth of tire marks, and the fact that the 1999 committee was a State Wide committee and not a committee just for the Brass City and the organizers did not proceed forward with a local committee.
Why not just support other diversity and multi cultural events/parades?
We do and will support all other amazing multicultural events and parades. AND our community deserves to have it's own unique celebration and day that celebrates what makes Puerto Rican's unique, beautiful and powerful culture. Especially since the City of Waterbury is about 30% Latino (of that 68% or about 33,000 Waterburians are Puerto Rican) we deserve our own festival/parade just as the Irish, Albanian and Italian communities of Waterbury celebrate their cultures on top of the overall multi-cultural event that occurs in the city.
Why are Puerto Ricans so dang proud of their flag?
The Puerto Rican flag has evolved throughout the ages, following the island’s struggle for independence. The original flag was flown at the Grito de Lares, Puerto Rico’s first major revolt against Spanish rule in 1868. Back then, the flag was blue on top and red on the bottom with a white cross intersecting the middle and a white star in the top left corner. It is believed to have been based on the flag of the Dominican Republic.
Today’s Puerto Rican flag is an adaptation of the one created in 1895 by Puerto Rican exiles in New York who made up the Puerto Rican section of the Cuban Revolutionary Party. This flag, which was designed as a color inversion of the Cuban flag, was flown in 1897 during the Yauco Revolt (Intentona de Yauco), the second major revolt against the Spanish.
On December 10, 1898, the signing of the Treaty of Paris led to the United States taking possession of Puerto Rico after the Spanish-American War. At that time, no flags were allowed to be flown in Puerto Rico other than that of the United States. The spirit of Puerto Rican independence took another hit when the Puerto Rico legislature passed Law 53 (the ‘Gag Law’) which made it illegal to fly a Puerto Rican flag, sing patriotic songs or do anything that encouraged Puerto Rican independence.
In 1957, the Gag Law was repealed and the flag of Puerto Rico was proudly flown. Today’s flag has five alternating stripes of red and white with a white star in the middle of a blue triangle. The blue triangle represents the three branches of Puerto Rico’s government as well as the waters surrounding the island, which is represented by the white star. The red stripes symbolize the blood sacrificed during the fight for independence and is a reminder of the people who fought for Puerto Rico. Finally, the white stripes stand for victory, liberty and peace.