President Bush, 4/28/06:I think the national anthem ought to be sung in English, and I think people who want to be a citizen of this country ought to learn English and they ought to learn to sing the national anthem in English.
But in his book American Dynasty, Kevin Phillips notes that during Bush’s first presidential campaign, he would often sing the national anthem in Spanish. From pg. 142:
When visiting cities like Chicago, Milwaukee, or Philadelphia, in pivotal states, he would drop in at Hispanic festivals and parties, sometimes joining in singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” in Spanish, sometimes partying with a “Viva Bush” mariachi band flown in from Texas.
And let's not forget this (also from ThinkProgress):
VIDEO: Bush Waves The Mexican Flag
In recent weeks, hundreds of thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets all across the nation to protest right-wing immigration proposals. As Media Matters has documented, the fact that some demonstrators carry the Mexican flag has elicited the ire of conservative pundits. For example, Robert Novak has said:I am no hard-liner on immigration who wants to expel 11 million illegal immigrants, but flags are a symbol of national identity. The student brandishing the Mexican flag signals divided loyalty or perhaps loyalty to a foreign power.
But President Bush himself has publicly brandished the Mexican flag. ThinkProgress has obtained a copy of a five-minute ad that the 2004 Bush campaign distributed to Hispanic supporters. In the ad, Bush can be seen waving a Mexican flag while embracing a young girl. (Watch the full ad HERE.)
What Novak and others fail to understand is that carrying the flag is not a sign of divided loyalty but a demonstration of an American value — understanding and appreciating immigrant culture.