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White linen flag with 5 printed portraits of Cuban heroes.

Cuba’s Heroes and Their Flag

In May 1896, New York’s Madison Square Garden served as the site for the Grand Cuban-American Fair. “Cuba appreciates sympathy—She must have assistance” was the motto used by the event’s organizers, all members of the Cuban Junta. The Junta comprised Cubans living in the United States who supported Cuba’s independence from Spain. Through fairs, public addresses, carnivals, and theat- rical performances, they aimed to raise sympathy and funds from the U.S. public to support Cuban combatants in the third War of Cuban Independence (1895–98). 

This souvenir linen handkerchief centers on the political leader of the Cuban independence movement, José Martí (1853–1895). His portrait is surrounded by those of military leaders in the independence struggle: Máximo Gómez (1836–1905), Antonio Maceo (1845–1896), and Calixto García (1839–1898), along with Salvador Cisneros (1818–1914), president of the Cuban Republic in Arms

Unidentified artist
Lithograph on linen
45.7 × 45.7 cm (18 × 18 in.)
Collection of Emilio Cueto