Guam, once a Spanish colony for centuries, was recently recognized at a national celebration known as Fiesta Nacional de España.
The island’s flag was included in a procession of Hispanic Cultural Flags, which took place on October 12 in the small town of Guadalupe.
Guam’s flag bearer was Jose Antonio, who celebrates more than 50 years as a caballero, or knight, of Santa Maria de Guadalupe. In 1928, Santa Maria de Guadalupe was declared by the Catholic Church as the “queen of the Hispanic cultural realm”, which also includes Guam.
“The addition of the flag of Guam in the procession of ‘Hispanic Cultural Realm Flags’ was widely acknowledged and acknowledged throughout the festivities,” said Clark Limtiaco, a CHamoru researcher living in Spain. “The ceremony’s emcee, regional newspapers, and local and national television stations highlighted the addition of the flag of Guam.
“On the day of the procession, the President of the Association Agustín Margallo Moraño invited me to the induction ceremony for new caballeros, where I expressed my gratitude for the inclusion of the flag of Guam in the annual ceremony” , he added. “My short speech of gratitude was followed by cheers of ‘Viva Guam!'”
Thousands of people flocked to Guadalupe to witness the October 12 festivities, commonly known as Spain’s National Day. More than 1,000 riders made the pilgrimage to Guadalupe this year.
This year’s event was the first since 2019, which was suspended due to the pandemic. Although it is a national holiday, the Guadalupe event is also a religious event.
The festivities took place in the Plaza de Santa Maria de Guadalupe, located right in front of the Monastery of Santa Maria de Guadalupe, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993.
“The flag will remain a permanent part of the annual festival and will be displayed at the Museo de la Hispanidad (Museum of Hispanic Culture) in Guadalupe alongside the flags of other countries with Hispanic cultural heritage, including the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Spain Argentina, Peru and Chile,” Limtiaco said.
After the procession, the flags were brought into the basilica where a mass was held. The flags were taken out and paraded again in the square after the mass.
Limtiaco said the inclusion of Guam’s flag in the procession was due to his networking with “Circulo Cervantino de Guam”, an online forum named after an association of the same name that once existed in Guam in the late 1900s. 1950 until the 1970-80s.
“This association was dedicated to the conservation of the Spanish cultural heritage of Guam and the Chamorro people, and was instrumental in the preservation of historic sites from the Spanish era, including the San Antonio Bridge in Hagatña,” said Limtiaco. “The online forum seeks to continue the mission of the original Circulo Cervantino de Guam by focusing on Guam’s unique Hispanic cultural heritage.
“The 500th anniversary commemoration of the Magellan-Elcano expedition has brought a little more attention to Guam here in Spain,” Limtiaco added. “Guam must be proactive in maintaining a dialogue with Spain as a means of collaborating in the recovery of a much-understood history.”
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