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The Flag of Mexico

Mexican Flag

The Mexican Flag. The Flag of Mexico is a very important symbol to all Mexicans which is exemplified by the Dia de la Bandera, the Mexican Flag Day.

The Mexican flag is an object of great national pride within Mexico. An enormous ne waves grandly in the central Zócalo square in Mexico City. There is even an annual celebration dedicated to it, the Día de la Bandera or Flag Day! This happens every year on February 24thand is a Mexican national holiday.

The Mexican flag consists of three vertical stripes which are red, white and green. On the central white stripe lies the national crest; an eagle resting upon a cactus with serpent in one of its talons. The original Mexican flag was officially presented in 1821 and while the flag has changed moderately over time, the current Mexican flag is almost exactly the same as the one created almost 200 years ago.

Interestingly, while people think that the Mexican flag is simply the Italian tricolor with the Mexican national crest placed upon it, the Mexican flag was actually created before the Italian flag. What´s more, the Mexican flag uses darker shades of green and red and also has different dimensions. Finally, the meaning behind the flag makes it very different to the Italian tricolor.

Mexican Flag History

The Mexican flag symbols have a fascinating story behind them. The eagle on the Mexican flag alludes to an important in Mexican history and culture that goes back to the Aztecs. Legend has it that the Aztec's were told by one of their Gods, Huitzilopochtli that they should look on a lake for an Eagle sitting upon a cactus and holding a snake in its talon. The vision went on to say that when they saw this, they were to settle and build their Empire around this point. During their migration, the Aztec people spotted this eagle and founded the city of Tenochtitlan, what is now present-day Mexico City. Thus the central emblem is a reminder for the Mexican people of their Aztec roots.

The Mexican flag colors also have historical origins. At the beginning of the 19th century when Mexico was fighting for independence from Spain a coalition army of Spanish troops and rebels was formed, the Ejercito Trigarante, or Army of the Three Guarantees. To represent the this army a flag was used that incorporated red, white and green in flag. This flag would be used until the end of the war. Preserving these colors in the flag of today is a way of remembering the struggle for independence as well as reminding the Mexican people of the foundations that this country was created upon.

Since the current flag is relatively unchanged since its creation the history of the Mexican flag up to now is relatively uneventful with the exception of the changing of the central image occurring approximately seven times. The dimensions of the flag have changed only slightly over the years as well as the meaning of the colors. When first created the colors stood for the Three Guarantees: Independence, Religion and Union. Today the colors officially stand for: Hope, Union and the Blood of Heroes.

As for the central seal, the flag which was used during the Second Mexican Empire contained 5 eagles, with one in each corner of the flag surrounding the central seal which also had a royal crest symbolizing Maxmilian's title of Emperor. The current version of the Mexican flag was adopted in 1968 and contains the national crest on both the sides of the flag.

The Mexican flag is a very important symbol to all Mexicans which is exemplified by the Dia de la Bandera; a day dedicated to celebrating the flag where each Mexican pledges allegiance to the flag and their country. Keep in mind that under Mexican law, the Flag is protected and special permits are needed to reproduce its image.