The Flag of Mexico

The nation of Mexico is a unique entity, the perfect blending of two completely different cultures: Spanish culture, itself influenced by both the Roman Empire and the Ottoman Empire, and Native Mexican culture, which includes Aztec and Mayan ethnic groups, are each present in this great and ancient nation. The boundaries of Mexico have been fluid on both its northern and southern borders, but its people have remained constant in their spirit, energy and heritage. Appearance of the Flag The flag of Mexico has three vertical stripes—green, white, and red. The green symbolizes the fertility of the earth and is also the color of the independence movement and sometimes stands for hope; the white stands for purity, especially the purity of faith, and unity; and the red signifies the blood that was shed in the battles for independence, as well as the Spaniards who helped the Mexican people in their quest for independence. In the middle of the white center stripe is the image of an eagle, perched on its left foot on a nopal cactus, eating a green snake that he holds in his right claw. He is cradled by the images of green oak and laurel branches, which symbolize strength and victory. The eagle image comes from an Aztec legend. The story goes that Huitzilopochtli, the Aztec god of war, told his people that their promised land would be a place where they saw an eagle land upon a nopal cactus while he ate a snake. The Aztecs sought this vision for many years, and finally saw it in the location where Mexico City now sits. That city was originally built by the Aztecs around 1325. Using the Aztec image of the eagle on the Mexican flag indicates that Mexicans are proud of their native heritage, and that they consider their new nation to be their promised land. History of the Mexican Flag The Mexican flag was originally created in 1821, after Mexico won its freedom from Spain. It celebrated its Spanish and Aztec heritage, and also upheld the freedom movement through its symbolism. It was designed to echo the arrangement of the French flag, because Mexico admired the revolutionary and freedom-seeking spirit of the French people. The original flag of Mexico was the flag used by the revolutionary army. It contained the same green, white, and red stripes that we know now, but with three stars in the center instead of the eagle. The eagle was added in 1823, and while minor details have been changed from time to time, it remains substantially the same as it was then. While it’s been in use since 1823, it was only officially adopted by the Mexican government in 1968. Mexican Flag Day is celebrated on February 24. It is celebrated with civic ceremonies such as speeches and gatherings. When the Mexican flag is displayed or paraded, citizens stand at attention with their right hand palm down over their heart. It’s one way to show their pride and devotion for the flag that represents their heritage.