It is amazing to learn the Cuban flag that flew in Havana on May 20th, 1902, the day Cuba became a free nation, is safe and now in Miami. Passed down from generation to generation of Cuban Masons, the last one to possess it was able to leave Cuba to Miami and smuggle the historic flag out with him.
The day after on May 21st, at one of the final events by the then recently formed and first Cuban government, “General Maximo Gomez gave this flag, in this same case, to Grand Master Mason Jose Fernandez Pellon in recognition of the extraordinary contributions made by Masons towards the independence of Cuba,” said Eduardo Leal Noda, historian and collector of historical items from Cuban masonry in an exclusive interview with Diario Las Americas.
Later, in 1936, “Pellon gave custody of the flag to my great grandfather, Enrique Elizaga Pelaez, a 33rd degree Master Mason,” Leal Noda said.
The flag that was made for the occasion using fine cotton thread measures approximately two and a half meters long and remains stored in the same wooden case, along with a copy of the 1902 Constitution and a replica of the Havana crest.
“My great grandfather took care of the flag until he passed away and then my mother kept it until she gave it to me for safekeeping. Since then, I kept it very well protected at my home in Santiago de las Vegas,” Leal Noda explained, showing visible emotion. He was born in 1959, precisely the year Fidel Castro forcibly took power.
Leal Noda arrived in Miami just a few days ago accompanied by his wife Gladys. He says he successfully made the journey with this precious historic relic along with many other important pieces “without the agents at the Havana airport noticing them.”
Read the entire story (in Spanish) HERE.
Hopefully, one day in the not too distant future, this same flag will once again fly in a free Cuba liberated from the tyranny and oppression of the socialist Castro dictatorship.