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Estados Unidos Mexicanos

Last modified: 2009-06-19 by juan manuel gabino villascán
Keywords: mexico | bandera nacional | national flag | flag | trigarante | arms | construction sheet | sheet | eagle | nopal | cactus | lake |
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[National flag of Mexico (Bandera Nacional Mexicana). By Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán] 4:7
[National flag and ensign]
by Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán, August 31, 2001
Based on [sdn76].

Flag and coat of arms adopted: September 16, 1968;
by Decree published in the DOF on August 17, 1968.
Flag and coat of arms confirmed: February 24, 1984;
by Decree published in DOF on February 8, 1984.
  • On land, civil, state and war flag;
  • At sea, civil, state and naval ensign.
  • Color specifications: According to the Secretaría de Gobernación (Secretariat of the Interior),
    body responsible on National Symbols matters, the recommended colors for the Mexican flag are:
  • Green: Pantone 3425 C
  • Red: Pantone 186 C

  • See also:

    Presentation of Mexico

    • Official name: Estados Unidos Mexicanos (es) / United Mexican States (en) / états-Unis du Mexique (fr)
    • Short-form names: México (es) / Mexico (en) / Mexique (fr)
    • Type of government: People's Democratic Representative Federal Republic Art. 40 of the National Constitution.
    • Chief of State and Head of Government: President of the United Mexican States
    • Capital city: Ciudad de México (Mexico City), Distrito Federal
    • Local divisions: 31 states, and one district: The Distrito Federal
    • Official Language: Spanish (español, aka castellano).
    • Other languages: Nahuatl, Mayan, Zapotec, Mixtec, Otomi, Tzeltal, Tzotzil, Totonac, English, French, German.
    • Religion: Cristianism: mostly Catholicism.
    • Area: 1'964,375 km2
    • Location: Northern America. Mexico neighbors USA (N), Guatemala and Belize (SE), Ocean Pacific (W), Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea (E)
    • Status: Internationaly recognized independent and sovereign state.
    • Member of: UNO, UN specialized bodies and agencies, World Trade Organization (WTO), World Bank, International Monetary Found (IMF), Organization of American States (OEA/OAE), APEC, Organization for Economical Cooperation and Development (OCDE/OEDC), Iternational Olympic Committee (COI/OIC), FIFA, FIBA, IAAF, FIVA, among others.
    • ISO codes: 484; MEX; MX
    • IOC code: MEX
    • FIFA code: MEX

    Official description and construction sheet

    [Mexican flag construction sheet. By Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán]
    by Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán, August 31, 2001
    Based on [sdn76].

    From the Ley sobre Escudo, la Bandera y el Himno Nacionales (Diario Oficial de la Federación February 8, 1984):

    Art. 3º:
    "The Bandera Nacional is a rectangle divided into three equal vertical stripes colored in the following order: from hoist to fly: green, white, and red. Centered in the white stripe, the National Coat of Arms with a diameter of three fourths the width of the white stripe. The Flag is proportioned four to seven. It could carry a rope or a cravatte of the same colors bellow the truck.

    A sample of the National Flag, authenticated by the Three Union Power representatives, will remain preserved in the 'Archivo General de la Nación', while other in the 'Museo Nacional de Historia' ".

    Reverse side of the flag

    [Reverse side of the Mexican flag. By Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán]
    by Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán, August 31, 2001
    [FIS Code]

    Partido Acción Nacional
    Cámara de Diputados (Representative House)

    The current Act, approved on February 24th 1984, contains a serious effort to order and pinpoint concepts to regulate both the characteristics and the adequate and respectful use of the national coat-of-arms, flag and anthem. However, some aspects necessary to that aim were not adequately contemplated.

    Article 2 describes the Coat of Arms, considering the lefthand profile of the eagle alone, with its left talon on the nopal and holding with the right one and its beak a serpent.

    However, Article 2 does not contemplate the customary use of the coat-of-arms on the reverse of the flag: the righthand profile of the eagle with its right talon on the nopal and holding snake with the left one. Thus offending article 5 of the same Act, which states that "all reproductions of the national coat-of-arms shall faithfully match the model described in article 2".

    This is clearly visible in the set of two flags which cover the back wall of (...) this Chamber of Deputies.

    We propose to incorporate a second paragraph to article 2:

    "When the national coat-of-arms appears on the reverse of the national flag, the Mexican eagle will show its righthand profile, perched on its left talon, holding the curved serpent with the right talon and its beak."

    Abel Vicencio Álvarez, July 19, 1999.
    Reported by Luis Havas, October 22, 1999.
    Translanted by Santiago Dotor, October 22, 1999.

    All those law initiatives were discussed and passed by the Mexican Parliament on April 20, 1995, being published in the Diario Oficial de la Federación [gob95] of May 9, 1995, adding the article 2º of the Law [gob84] published on February 8, 1984.

    The article 2º is as follows [unofficial translation]:

    "The National Coat of Arms is featured by an Mexican eagle exposing its left profile, the upper part of the wings in a level higher than plume and slightly displayed in a battle attitude; with the sustenation plumage downwards touching to the tail whose feathers are arranged in natural fan. It puts its left grasp on a bloomed nopal that is born in a rock that emerges from a lake. It is grasping with the right grasp and the beack, in attitude of eat, a curved serpent, so that it harmonizes with the whole. Several "pencas" of the nopal grow to the sides. Two branches, one of encino to the front of the eagle and another one of laurel opposed, form a lower semicircle and they are united by a ribbon divided in three strips that, when the National Coat of Arms is represented in natural colors, correspond to those of the National flag.

    When the National Arms is reproduced in the reverse side of the National Flag, the Mexican Eagle will appear standing in its right grasp, holding with the left one and the beack the curved serpent."

    From [gob84]
    Quoted and translated by Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán, April 20, 2001

    National ensign

    According articles 14 and 15 of the Ley sobre las características y el uso del Escudo, la Bandera e Himno Nacional published on August 17, 1968. the national flag is the national ensign as well:

    Article 14.- (...) Every single Mexican ship and aircraft shall carry the National Flag, and they shall used it according the corresponding laws and rules (...)

    Article 15.- The National Flag shall be hoisted everyday on the offices of the Migration Department, customs, captainships of port (capitanías de puerto) and international airports.

    This law was derogated, being replaced by the currently-in-effect Ley sobre el Escudo, la Bandera y el Himno Nacionales, published on the DOF on February 23, 1984, in effect a day later: Feb. 24, 1984. Though this law did not modified the national flag and coat of arms features established by its predecessor one, it was to be promulgated to clarify some details about the national anthem; thus, several articles were arranged:

    Article 15. (...) Every single Mexican aircraft and ship shall carry the National Flag and they shall use it according the corresponding laws and rules. (...)

    Article 16. The National Flag shall be hoisted everyday in the headquarters of the Powers of the Union, offices of the Migration Department, Customs, Capitanías de Puerto, International Airports; at the Diplomatic and Consular Representations abroad, and on the monumental hoist at the "Plaza de la Constitución" in the Republic's capital city.

    From [gob68] and [gob84]
    Quoted and translated by Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán, August 17, 2002.

    Cravatte (corbata)

    [Corbata / Cravatta for Mexican flags to be used indoors or parades]
    Click on the image to enlarge
    by Zachary Harden, December 2005.

    Art. 3º:
    "The National Flag is a rectangle divided into three equal vertical stripes (...) It could carry a rope or a cravatte of the same colors bellow the truck.

    From [gob84]
    Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán, June 22, 2001.

    Symbolism of the national flag

    There are several odd versions about the origin of the National Colors, but according to Manuel Carrera Stampa [csm60] the most serious statement about their origin is that provided by Jorge Flores D., who said:

    "The colors of the flag were surely inspired on those of the arms of the Muy Noble y Muy Leal Ciudad de la Purísima-Concepción de Zelaya granted by Phillip IV in 1669, and placed in the Regimiento de Celaya's flag of which Iturbide was the Colonel... Such arms are blue, white and red, in the middle of the white stripe there is a depiction scene featured by a mezquite three, underneath councilors (Regidores) signing the fundational act... So, it is very probable that the new flag had been created in Celaya (Guanajuato), instead of Iguala, for security reasons: his life Ituribide would not risk because of the new and original idea to join two rival armies, then he chose a save and far place from the Insurgentes and close to conservatives, Celaya, Guanajuato..."

    Then, if this theory is true, why did blue change to green?

    About red, several sources establish that it was not originally thought to include it in flags but something kind of purple, for this actually represented Castile (Spain). Unfortunately, for either the lack of purple cloth or its high price, the Trigarantes were forced to use red instead.

    Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán, October 4, 2001.

    Originally the colors were for religion, independence and union.

    Due to the unpopularity of Agustín de Iturbide, creator of the National Flag; to the federalistic and secularistic feelings roaming the goverment since the early days of independence, reinforced by a Liberal Constitution proclaimed by President Ignacio Comonfort in 1856 and by the Leyes de Reforma published between 1859 and 1860 by Liberal President Benito Juárez García, colors of the National Flag acquired a new meaning:

      Green for hope;
      White for unity, purity, and honesty; and
      Red for parenthood and the blood of national heroes.

    Other meaning could be:

      Green for the territory (resources, mountains, rivers, etc);
      White for the people (ethnicity, believes, mixture, honesty, unity, purty); and
      Red for the struggles for remaining the national independence and freedom.

    Marc Junele Hoyos, 29 Apr 1998
    Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán, April 21, 2004.

    Another circumstance came to change the original meaning of the colors on the Bandera Nacional is the emblem adopted by the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI), which after the 1910 Revolution self-proclaimed the unique heir of the Revolution ideals. For many, in different times, the fact the PRI emblem bears the national colors has been considered an expropiation of the national identity. Thus, many proposals has been arisen, such as to change the PRI emblem, something that Priístas not even consider in order to prevent other parties' emblems to bear the national colors, leading to a possible change of the Bandera Nacional.

    Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán, April 21, 2004.

    [Mexico - Coat of arms. By Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán]
    by Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán, August 31, 2001
    Base on [sdn76]
    See: Mexico - Coat of arms.

    The Coat of Arms recalls an old Aztec legend:

    "The Aztec people were guided by Huitzilopochtli to seek a place where an eagle landed on a prickly-pear cactus, eating a snake".

    After hundreds of years of wandering they found the sign on a small swampy island in Lake Texcoco. Their new home they named Mexico-Tenochtitlan ("In the Moon's navel-Place of the Prickly Pear Cactus"). In A.D. 1325 they built a city on the site of the island in the lake; this is now the center (downtown) of Mexico City.

    Rita Ramirez, January 16, 1998;
    Edward Mooney, April 28, 1998; and
    Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán, September 30, 2001

    Note by the editor: For further information about the coat of arms, visit: Mexico - Coat of arms.

    Variants of the national flag

    [Bandera Nacional (National Flag of Mexico) with golden/grey coat of arms. By Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán]
    [Alternate version of the Flag]
    [De facto Version, no official law or edict making the flag official]
    [National Mexican Flag and Ensign]
    by Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán, August 31, 2001

    [Bandera Nacional (National Flag of Mexico) with full golden Coat of Arms. By Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán]
    [Alternate version of the Flag]
    [De facto Version, no official law or edict making the flag official]
    [National Mexican Flag and Ensign]
    by Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán, August 31, 2001

    See also:

    Anything below this line was not added by the editor of this page.