-- The American flag will be raised on Friday over the U.S. embassy in Havana for the first time in more than 50 years.
While the occasion is historic, the American stars and stripes have also been spotted around Havana in some expected, and not so expected places. Prior to the restoration of diplomatic ties, spotting the American flag anywhere in Havana was nearly impossible.
But today, just months later, many young Cubans rock the American flag as part of their apparel. Whether it’s as a fashion statement, or political one, one thing is clear: the American flag is being raised in more places than just the American embassy.
Taxi drivers often have both the American flag and the Cuban flag crisscrossing to show their support for diplomatic relations. This trend started to be spotted early this year, as American officials embarked for the first diplomatic talks in January. Since then the flag has been easier to come by, with American politicians and businessmen bringing them as gifts.
From bags and watches, to shirts, a Cuban youth rocks out the red, white and blue.
Alexis Vidal Sobori, 21, loves the United States. He asked a friend traveling to America to buy him not one, but two American flag t-shirts. He hopes to attend Friday’s flag-raising and one day visit America’s shores.
Daylili, 27, wears this flag because it was a gift from her aunt in Spain, but for her the shirt is more about the colors and style than significant meaning.
Albert, a.k.a. “Chocolate,” is a street vendor selling antiques. His father, from New Jersey, sent him the shirt. He is happy to see relations between the U.S. and Cuba move toward normalization, saying perhaps it will help his own business.
This Cuban taxi didn't have a flag, but instead featured a stars and stripes air freshener.