Khalsa Flag Officially Raised in Espanola

Two days ago was flag day in the U.S....


Two days ago, June 14th, was flag day in the U.S. It was coincidentally the same day the Espanola New Mexico city council ratified that the Khalsa flag would be raised to represent the Sikh community at the city plaza. 

Prominent member of the Sikh community Singh Sahib Guru Bachan Singh Khalsa presented to the city council a perspective about the Khanda they most certainly were not expecting. This is a story not all Sikhs will have heard about... 

It starts 40 some odd years ago with a renowned Catholic muralist named Edward O'Brien. A devoted soul, he painted several iconic murals in northern New Mexico churches which all included Our Lady Guadalupe. Lady Guadalupe is a symbol for the Divine Feminine principle originating in Mexico that is very popular among Latin American Catholics. She is known to be the symbol of protection. When Ed O'Brien chanced upon the then young Sikh community he felt that the symbol of the Khanda (also known as the Adi Shakti) represented a similar principle of protection. He felt that both symbols are timeless and beyond description but the same in essence. 

Then he painted a mural which included both symbols clearly demonstrating his vision for the common truth and spirit behind different belief systems. Very notably he dedicated himself to this mural, which took him 3 years to complete. In that time he studied Sikh history and painted this with a depiction of all 11 guru's along with a scene representing each. Needless to say it is rare to see such devotion to a different tradition than one's own 

The master muralist died no more than 7 days after completing this work. This most respected friend of the Sikhs stated before his passing, "I spent my whole life gaining the skill in my fingers to paint this mural." He considered this to be the greatest work of his life. Click here for more details about the mural

The councilors and members of the audience were awed to hear this history and charmed to be reminded that we are, in the end, one community. Maanas jaat sabhe ekai peheachanbo, "Recognize the human race as One." There is One God from where we all come from. From one ocean came countless rivers. 

As Gurubachan said to the council, "This is not about our religion. It represents protection. This flag says that the Khalsa is here." 

The City unanimously passed the proposal that the Khalsa flag be raised in perpetuity. 

We send an ode to Edward O'Brien, who I consider comparable to a bhagat of our community, in honor of his timeless contribution and service to the spirit of humanity. 

We send victory, good wishes and blessings to the Espanola city council and look forward to our continued growth together as a community. 


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