The current Mexico flag dates back to 1968. The flag was initially adopted during the Mexican War of Independence although the design was used in similar forms since 1821. The flag of Mexico has changed four times throughout history.
The national coat of arms is situated within the central point of the three vertical stripes of green, white and red. It features an eagle perched aloft a cactus, the eagle is holding a serpent.
This mysterious and iconic design is based upon an ancient legend in Aztec history. The fascinating legend apparently instructed the early Aztec leaders to scour the landscape of the country and search for the sight of an eagle eating a serpent, whilst sitting on top of a cactus.
Once they witnessed this image, the leaders were told to then build a majestic city upon the exact location where they witnessed the event. It is said that the Aztecs followed these instructions (issued by their Gods) and built the great city of Tenochtitlan, which we now know today as Mexico City.
The choice and meaning of the three colours within the Mexico flag have changed over time. Red, white and green are the colours of
the national liberation army. The coloured stripes on the flag however have been adapted
to represent hope, unity and blood.
The red stripe represents the blood of fallen Mexican heroes, the white stripe represents unity and the green stripe represents hope.
People often confuse the Mexico flag with the Italian flag. Some people think that the only difference between the two, is the
presence of the coat
of arms within the white stripe on the Mexican version.
This is not true though, both portray different colour shades and the length and width of the vertical stripes are also different. The Mexico flag was also adopted before the current Italian incarnation was first used.
In 1984 politicians began a lengthy debate regarding the relevant inclusion
of the central coat of arms on the reverse side of the Mexico flag.
The politicians suggested that if future versions were reproduced on both sides then the coat of arms should be flipped to face out on either side.
Eventually in 1995 the law was passed for the relative change of position on the reverse side. One of the most important and widely celebrated festivals throughout the country is the annual national holiday to celebrate Mexican Flag Day on February 24th.
This popular festive celebration was first established in 1937. It is common to see a variety of colourful parades and lively community events at this time. The Toque de Bandera (The Salute to the Flag) and The Juramento a la Bandera (The Oath to the Flag) are celebratory songs dedicated to this event.
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