Laredo, are you smarter than a …

(I started writing yesterday but my rant got too long – had to go back and cut, cut, cut)

The winning entry "Always a Reason to Celebrate in Laredo" by Isabella Mercado, 10 yrs old in 4th grade

Yesterday the Pride of Laredo contest winner was announced. I am sure we are all familiar with 10 year old Isabella’s winning poster and slogan – Always a Reason to Celebrate in Laredo. It’s a little long but I like it :).

Right in the same press release from the city, we have the city of Laredo’s official “letterhead.” So… what’s different… hmmmm…

Oh yeah, the city of Laredo is the only prominent entity that incorrectly uses the controversial confederate battle flag instead of the official “Stars and Bars” of the Confederacy. Now a mixing up of the French flags is understandable since there wasn’t a specific one to fly over so you will see the blue French flag or the white flag with the fleur-de-lis but there is no mistaking the differences in confederate flags. You would have thought someone (aside from me) would have complained by now – pero ni vergüenza tiene la cuidad.

Of course, after today’s idiotic report about TxDot (Texas Department of Transportation) doing away with references to Nuevo Laredo on its freeway signs towards Laredo (link to KGNS story) in order to create a distance between the two cities – I am guessing Mayor Raul Salinas will be asking to remove the “Gateway to Mexico” you see on the letterhead too! I try to avoid being a complainer (ok, I don’t try hard enough), but it is the most ridiculous waste of money I have ever heard of! This is taxpayer money that pays for someone to climb up a ladder to block out “Nuevo Laredo” and the miles remaining to reach it. It will be taxpayer money to replace the entire sign. TxDot should worry more about its MISSPELLED signs instead of factual signs. It just seems like someone’s whim that has a big dollar impact – what happened to cutting back on unnecessary spending?? What next – will we be putting powder on our faces to really create that distinction with Mexico?? (…and yes, I know not all Mexicans are bronzed like this US citizen blogger is)

Wasn’t this also one of the origins (one of my favorite posts on past WBCA history) of the Washington’s Birthday Celebration – to be more “patriotic” and demarcate the US from Mexico even more? Hey, a parade and rich ladies in dresses that cost thousands of dollars to make does not change the fact that the majority of the residents of Laredo are still primarily of Mexican descent y te van a platicar del WBCA en español and yooohoooo… we are still “sister cities,” Los Dos Laredos. And now we have the Commissioner’s court wanting to celebrate veteran heroes which I have no issue with. But get this, the reason behind it is not so much because of the individuals who survived wars for us and acted heroically but because they want us to be “THE MOST PATRIOTIC IN THE NATION” (Quote from 3/29/11 Laredo Morning Times). Shove it down our throats, why don’t you. Yet, vets claims they were a no-show at one of the Vietnam Veteran functions (see podcast by LaSanbe or more recent story). Sorry, but my version of being patriotic would avoid the superficial and would focus on actually helping the homeless veterans with transitional housing, changing policy that keeps veterans below the poverty line and depending on food giveaways at the Volunteers Serving the Need program, or even simply celebrating veteran stories with an oral history project (FYI, there is one but it has too few volunteers).

And… patriotic would be to accept the reality that the closest city to us is Nuevo Laredo, that it is not so bad to be Americans with a whole lot of us of Mexican descent who know Washington & Pocahontas did not even come close to Laredo; and, definitely that the South is no longer in battle mode (the North won, dudes). If these other prominent entities can get the right flags up and a 10 year old can too, why can’t the city?? But don’t do it a trancasos with duct tape, save our taxpayer money for actually serving residents of this area and really giving us “a reason to celebrate.”

La Posada Hotel in downtown Laredo

The seven flags of Laredo at the entrance of Laredo Community College

The Laredo Morning Times masthead has all seven flags correctly lined



About Que Fregados

Que Fregados is a quirky look at little things that strike us funny in Laredo and the unique Latino culture. Suggestions and comments are welcome. You can also email to
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17 Responses to Laredo, are you smarter than a …

  1. BT Blues says:

    Nice post, QF.

    You might even be accused of being negative on Laredo like your blogging brethren! 🙂 *gasp*

    Good call on the Confederate Battle flag. I particularly love the giant one at the airport. Really nice for out of town visitors who might take offense. But hey, we’re patriotic!

    As per the winning “Laredo Pride” art contest, I want a background check to see if there is some sort of nepotism involved since that illustration is too eerily similar to the City of Laredo motif.

    Perhaps I am a bit sore since I submitted a drawing of a dumped tire with my proposed motto,”Puro Laredo Pride, Baby,” and it was turned down.


    • Que Fregados says:

      And don’t let me start on the dognapping… hey, I am not being negative on Laredo, I am being negative on money wasting politicians and state agencies! I luv me some Laredo.

      • BT Blues says:

        QF, I absolutely, unequivocally know you are pro-Laredo. That’s why I can’t read your blog everyday! 🙂

        But, what I was implying in jest is that people who might not familiar with your rose-colored view of the Bordertown might confuse your recent post for something that came from the visceral negativity usually associated with BT Blues or LaredoTejas.

        As per the dog-napping, if you live in the North Side of town, you can’t afford to leave your mutt in your own yard. People are known to “liberate” these dogs and hold onto them until an ad magically appears in the paper offering a reward.

        For some odd reason, these dognappers do not make their way to the West Side where the packs of stray dogs roam the railroad tracks and the river banks like hyenas.

        • Que Fregados says:

          You know I still think it is less dognappers than dogs that just want to be free. I think they end up on the Westside – or haven’t you noticed some of the mudcovered rhinestone encrusted collars those stray dogs have? Don’t you know it is easier money to just steal brisket rather than deal with a yappy dog and hope there is a reward of over $10?

          • BT Blues says:

            Nnnnaaammmbre its dognappers most of the time.

            No offense, but if you are born and raised here, you understand the subtle nuance of the dog exchange. Hence, the ever-present “No Questions Asked” on every Reward Ad.

            It’s kind of like how some folks understand the subleties of la mordida. Well, the same principles apply to the dog-nappings.

            Trust me, the folks who do this do not care about yapping dogs. Drive around the South and West Sides at any time and all you hear is yapping dogs 24/7. You just throw the dog into a backyard or tie it up and wait for the ad to appear in the LMT.

            If no ad appears, the dog is allowed to “roam free” as you implied. Either that or they are driven to points outside the city and dumped out.

            Sadly, I know this practice thanks to my in-depth investigative reporting on Border life.

            If you choose to not believe this goes on, well, I understand. There are also Holocaust deniers, Moon landing deniers, and Evolution deniers. 🙂

            Of course, you know I kid with you. Have a great one. I am off to La Roca! Email me when you have another negative post on Laredo!

    • Rosario says:

      The “huge one” at the airport is actually the official Coat of Arms rendered by my father, Roberto Azios and myself and voted in by City Council during the Hon. Aldo Tatangelo’s office as Mayor of Laredo. For $ome rea$on our present mayor chooses to use the one almost copied by City Secretary Gustavo Guevara…..I wonder whyyyy!

  2. Nuno says:

    Why can’t we just go back to the time we were “The Republic Of The Rio Grand” or was it Rio Grande… either way .. seems we were our own nation then…. just a thought…

  3. Poncho1950 says:

    Leave it to the state of Texas to ignore a city with an official population of almost 375,000, that is also the biggest inland port in Mexico and the start of the Pan American Highway.

  4. Poncho1950 says:

    A year or so ago, when I was visiting Laredo, I saw a stray xoloitzcuintli in the Plantation development. Those are pricey dogs these days. He was roaming the streets in the middle of the day, and he obviously had little street smarts, but he was also too shy to come when called.

  5. Ray says:

    I guess my entry wasn’t original enough:;

    “Laredo, where dreams go to die”

  6. Villarreal says:

    Great web blog, I agree with you 100%

  7. Enrique says:


    A ver si sobrevive Texas sin su frontera comercial principal y a ver si los traileros novatos no se pierden. DOT necesita recordar que del comercio mexicano les paga el sueldo al darles una razón para existir.

  8. Pingback: Laredo » Blog Archive » La Sanbe: Laredo Forsaking Its Own

  9. Pingback: Flag Day | Que Fregados

  10. Pingback: Laredo Mexico? Not even our Texas neighbors get it right | Que Fregados

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