ST. LOUIS — Flags say a lot about their respective country or community and this year there’s a new Hispanic heritage flag on display created by a Missouri artist with Latin roots.
This new piece of art in the St. Louis area is proudly on display just in time for Hispanic heritage month.
St. Louis is home to more than two million people, including a growing Hispanic population.
Since the year 2000, the area’s Hispanic population has increased by more than 50%, from 7,000 to 15,000-plus.
In February of this year, City Hall raised a flag representing Black History Month, which begged the question: how great would that be for the city to do the same for Hispanic Heritage Month?
Soon after, local artist Jose Garza came onboard to design such a flag.
“This was a big responsibility to try to create something that symbolized such a diverse community,” Garza said.
The design process included brainstorming sessions with Hispanic community members where they discussed colors and symbols.
Four months later their Hispanic Heritage Flag was officially introduced in late August at the Missouri History Museum.
The flag’s top left features an eight-pointed star, shining the way and revealing the total number of symbols on it.
“The flag itself represents a landscape,” Garza explained. “At the bottom, there’s a brown band. That stands for the different ethnicities in the Latin communities.”
The green band above it symbolizes Earth and Prosperity for all, followed by a light blue band meaning water and justice for everyone.
The geometric design indicates the mountain chains stretching through North and South America connecting their people.
Chloe Smith with the Regional Arts Commission helped fund it for $1,200.
“It was kind of the only flag of its kind locally and around this region,” she said. “It’s a beautiful flag. I love how bold it is and I think it’s representative of all those rich cultures.”
Other flags representing Hispanic culture exist, but none that we’ve found specifically for Hispanic Heritage Month.
“Flags have a very significant history,” Garza said. “They include national identities. There are things that bring us together.”
Garza’s hope is that all 21 Hispanic countries, from Mexico to Argentina, are represented as one and identify their similarities instead of their differences.