In recent weeks, hundreds of thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets all across the nation to protest right-wing immigration proposals. As Media Matters has documented, the fact that many of these demonstrators carry the Mexican flag with them has elicited the ire of conservative pundits. For example, Robert Novak has said:
I am no hard-liner on immigration who wants to expel 11 million illegal immigrants, but flags are a symbol of national identity. The student brandishing the Mexican flag signals divided loyalty or perhaps loyalty to a foreign power.
But President Bush himself has publicly brandished the Mexican flag. ThinkProgress has obtained a copy of a five-minute ad that the 2004 Bush campaign distributed to Hispanic supporters. In the ad, Bush can be seen waving a Mexican flag while embracing a young girl. (Watch the full ad HERE.) Bush applauds the Mexicans who stayed in the United States after the Texas territory was acquired from Mexico:
Many of them were treated as foreigners in their own land. Yet they didn't choose to run. They stayed. This was their home. They worked, raised families, and built communities. Their sweat, tenacity, and heart helped build this country.