Waving proudly in the Zocalo square in Mexico City is the Mexican flag – an object of great national pride. In fact, the flag is such a source of pride that it even has its own holiday – Día de la Bandera or Flag Day, which takes place every February 24 and is considered a national holiday. More about Mexico.

1.Mexican Flag Colors

Mexican Flag Colors
© Courtesy of somartin - Fotolia.com

The flag’s design is mainly three vertical stripes colored red, white, and green. In the middle is the country’s national crest with an eagle resting on a cactus and holding a serpent in one talon. It was originally designed back in 1821 and has since remained mainly the same, albeit undergoing some minor changes within the last 200 years.

One interesting fact about the design is that it looks like the Italian tricolor flag; however, the Mexican flag was actually made before the Italian flag. Another distinction is that the Mexican flag uses darker shades of red and green, while the dimensions are also different. Also, despite some similarities with other flags, the design of the Mexican flag is that way because of what each element symbolizes.

Fun day trip ideas close to me, best weekend getaways: South Carolina, Oregon, Texas, Day trips

2.What do the colors of the Mexican flag mean?

What do the colors of the Mexican flag mean?
© Courtesy of Premium Collection - Fotolia.com

The three colors of the Mexican flag contribute to the overall character of the country it symbolizes. The green part means hope and prosperity, the white part signifies purity, while the red part stands for the blood that was shed by the heroes of Mexico over the years.

Previously, however, the colors stood for other things. The color green was for independence, the color white was a symbol of the Roman Catholic religion, while the red color stood for the union formed by the Mexicans and Spaniards.

Things to do near me, beaches, romantic parks, unique places to visit: From Phoenix, WV, IN, AK, Boulder

3.The eagle of the Mexican flag

The eagle of the Mexican flag
© Courtesy of J BOY - Fotolia.com

The eagle is part of the Mexican coat of arms. Its presence is based on a legend in which Huitzilopochtli, the supreme deity of the Aztecs, commanded the people to live in a place where an eagle lands on a cactus whilst holding on a snake. The Aztec people wandered until, in 1345, they found eagle perched on a cactus and eating a snake on an island within Lake Texcoco. They settled down and built the city of Tenochtitlan, which means the “Place of the Prickly Pear Cactus.” This was the most important city of the Aztecs until it was destroyed by the Spaniards when they invaded in 1521. Mexico City was built from the ruins of the ancient city.

The eagle, as well as the rest of the emblem, is actually a symbol of the Mexicans’ Aztec heritage. Even the flag colors have their own origins. At the beginning of the 19th century Mexico fought for its independence from Spain, and a coalition army was formed of rebels and some Spanish troops and was called the Ejercito Trigarante, or the Army of the Three Guarantees. Throughout the war, this army was represented by a flag with green, white, and red colors. The colors were preserved on the flag’s present design in order to remember the struggles of the Mexican people as they fought for their independence.

Long weekend getaways with friends near you, weather, what should I do in for couples: WA, Charleston, New England, Cleveland, San Diego

Quick Facts About the Mexican Flag

The seal

The central seal on the flag wasn’t always like that (the national crest appearing on both sides). In fact, the current one wasn’t adopted until 1968. During the time of the Second Mexican Empire, the seal had five eagles – one for each corner and one in the center.

Other facts about the Mexican flag:

- The flag of Mexico is known as Bandera de Mexico in Spanish. Mexicans often refer to it as Bandera Nacional.

- The flag was first created back in 1821 by Agustin de Iturbide, a Mexican army general.

- The flag has a width to length ratio of 4:7.

- During the Olympics, the President of Mexico gives the flag to one of the athletes to bring to the host country.

- Whenever the national anthem of Mexico is played on the television, the flag must be shown.

- In case the country needs to honor the death of someone who is listed in the country’s national flag law, the Mexican flag is to be flown half-mast.

- During parades where the Mexican flag is shown, members of the military salute the civilians, who will in turn give a civic salute.

- Vicente Guerrero was the first military officer to swear allegiance to the flag.

- Flag day is celebrated on February 24.

- At certain times of the year, the flag is flown by both civilians and military personnel.

- The image of the Mexican flag is protected by law. That is, the broadcasting and duplication of its image is regulated, and special permits are required for its use.

- The biggest Mexican flag is 196 feet by 111 feet and is found in Piedras Negras, Coahuila. Its pole is 120 meters tall, weighing 160 tons.

- The songs dedicated to the Mexican flag are Juramento a la Bandera, which means “oath to the flag,” and Toque de Bandera, which means “salute to the flag.”

Clearly, the Mexican flag is a very important symbol of Mexico. It’s rich with symbolism and based on a long history, representing the events that made the country what it is today. So, whenever you’re in Mexico, make sure that you always treat the flag with respect. Take the time to learn and understand what locals do to respect the flag and you’ll be good to go.