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Mexican Flag

by Aakash Singha

Mexico's flag (Bandera de Mexico) consists of three vertical stripes of green, white and red, with Mexico's coat of arms in the center. It was adopted on September 16, 1968, but the same flag has been used by Mexicans since 1821, the year when it was originally designed.

Mexican Flag

Blank Mexican Flag

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Flag of Mexico

The flag of Mexico is a tricolor featuring three vertical bands of equal size. From left to right, these bands are colored green, white, and red, respectively. In the center of the white band is the national coat of arms, depicting an eagle holding a serpent, among other details.

Meaning of Colors in Mexican Flag

There is no official directive for the meaning of the colors used in the Mexican flag. However, the first use of these colors was by the Army of the Three Guarantees in 1821. The Army was formed by the unification of Spanish troops and Mexican insurgent troops.

Different sources claim different interpretations for the colors, two of the most popular being

  1. Green: Hope and Victory; White: Purity of Ideals; Red: The blood shed by the national heroes.
  2. Green: Independence; White: Roman Catholicism; Red: Union.


Dimensions of Mexican Flag :

According to the official design guidelines, the various parts of the flag bear the following ratios :

  • Width of flag: 4 units
  • Length of flag: 7 units
  • Length of each band (measured horizontally): 7/3 units
  • Diameter of the coat of arms: 7/4 units


History of the Mexican Flag

The first national flag of Mexico came into existence in 1821 when the country secured its independence from the rule of Spain. Just two years later when the federal republic was established, changes were made to the coat of arms and incorporated as part of the second national flag. The first flag featured a crown on the head of the eagle, which was now removed. Further, the eagle was now shown holding a serpent in its talons, and oak and laurel branches were added. These have been preserved in the modern-day flag.

When the Second Mexican Empire came into existence in 1864, other minor changes were made to the coat of arms and in 1865 the third national flag resulted. The current version of the flag, adopted on September 16, 1968, was legalized on February 24, 1984. There was a debate concerning the appearance of the flag on the reverse, which was resolved when the law was amended to allow the eagle to face to the right on the back side of the flag.

Symbolism :

Interesting symbolism surrounds the coat of arms used on the Mexican flag. The legend says that when the Aztecs were settling in North America sometime in the 14th century, there were unsure of where to build their central city. It is said that they were instructed by one of their gods to look for a Mexican eagle sitting on a prickly pear cactus, holding a serpent in its talons. The place where they spotted the eagle is the present-day capital of Mexico, Mexico City, with the imagery taken from this legend used to design the country’s coat of arms. For the symbolism associated with the colors, see the relevant section above.

Protocol of Mexican Flag

The following points of etiquette are provided regarding the flag of Mexico

  • When the flag is being carried in a parade, the military is required to present a military salute to the civilians. In return, the civilians present the civic salute.
  • Whenever the country participates in the Olympics, the flag is handed by the president to one of the players, to be carried to the host country.
  • The flag is to be displayed on television when the national anthem is playing.
  • When the flag is used to honor the death of certain important citizens listed in the Law of National Flag, it must be flown at half-mast.
National symbol(s): golden eagle
National colors: green, white, red
National anthem:
Name: “Himno Nacional Mexicano” (National Anthem of Mexico)
Lyrics/Music: Francisco Gonzalez BOCANEGRA/Jaime Nuno ROCA

Fact about Mexico flag

Country Mexico
Adopted September 16, 1968
Design and Colors A vertical tricolor of green, white, and red with the National Coat of Arms of Mexico centered on the white band
Size Ratio 4:7

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