Richard Chávez - UFW flag 1962
Via UFW.org (United Farm workers)
In 1962 Cesar Chávez asked his brother, Richard Chávez to design a flag. Cesar wanted an Aztec eagle on the flag, but Richard could not make an eagle that he liked. After several attempts, Richard sketched one on a piece of brown wrapping paper. He then squared off the wing edges so that the eagle would be easier for union members to draw on their handmade red flags. The symbol of the eagle would give courage to the farm workers. Cesar made reference to the flag by stating, “A symbol is an important thing and that is why we chose an Aztec eagle. It gives pride…When people see it they know it means dignity.” The flag was unveiled at the first mass meeting of the newly formed union.
Symbolism In The Flag:
The black eagle signifies the dark situation of the farm worker. The Aztec eagle is a historic symbol for the people of Mexico. The UFW incorporated the Aztec eagle into its design in order to show the connection the union had to migrant workers of Mexican-American descent, though not all UFW workers were/are Mexican-American.
The white circle signifies hope and aspirations.
The red background stands for the hard work and sacrifice that the union members would have to give.
Ladies and gentlemen here is Chicano masterpiece #10 of my top 100 for my virtual Chicano Art Museum. The UFW flag is a very strong image, even without its historical significance it is a very strong piece of art. With the historical significance it makes the UFW flag a piece of art everyone recognizes. When my parents came from Mexico in 1972, they worked in the fields for a few years. I could not even fathom working in such grueling labor for wages one could barely survive on, then and now. What our parents do to give their children the “American dream”. Si se puede!