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Flag Waving as Visual Argument: 2006 Immigration Demonstrations and Cultural Citizenship
Argumentation and Advocacy (2007)
  • Richard D Pineda, University of Texas at El Paso
  • Stacey K Sowards, University of Texas at El Paso
During the 2006 immigration rallies and demonstrations, hundreds of thousands of immigrants and their supporters tumed out to protest proposed immigration legislation. Flag waving was a key element of these demonstrations, in which participants employed both the U.S. flag and other national flags, most prominently Mexican flags. In this essay, we examine how flag waving functions as a visual argument that offers possibilities for establishing cultural and national citizenship and creating a visual form of refutation. Specifically, we argue that anti-immigration advocates see foreign flags as visual ideographs that represent recent immigrants' failure to assimilate, immigrants' deviant cultural practices, and failure of law enforcement. Immigrant rights advocates see foreign fkgs as a visual ideograph that represents cultural pride, unity, and civic participation that creates space for cultural citizenship. These oppositional tensions aeate a framework for understanding flag waving as a refutative process.
  • immigration,
  • flag waving,
  • cultural citizenship,
  • visual argumentation,
  • visual refutation,
  • visual ideograph
Publication Date
Citation Information
Richard D Pineda and Stacey K Sowards. "Flag Waving as Visual Argument: 2006 Immigration Demonstrations and Cultural Citizenship" Argumentation and Advocacy Vol. 43 Iss. Winter & Spring (2007)
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