Mexican Flag

What is its meaning and what do its colors represent?

The flag of the United States of Mexico It is one of the patriotic symbols of this country. It is the national insignia of Mexico most recognized internationally.

The Mexican flag consists of a rectangle divided into three vertical stripes of the same size, each of a different color. From left to right: green, white and red.

Mexican flag

In the center of the white stripe, with a diameter of three quarters of the width of the stripe, is the nation’s coat of arms.

The ratio between the width and the length of the flag is four to seven. The flag may carry a kind of bow or tie of the same colors, at the foot of the moharra.

Throughout republican history, the Mexican flag has had different configurations and dispositions of its elements.

The one that today we recognize as the official flag of this nation is the one that was adopted on the day September 16, 1968of which, by law, there is a model in the General Archive of the Nation and another in the National Museum of History.

Since 1940, it is officially commemorated as Flag Day on February 24th.

Meaning of the elements of the flag of Mexico


The flag of Mexico has three colors, each of which has been assigned a different meaning and, in fact, has been interpreted differently at different times.

Initially, it was considered that the green represented the independence of Spain, the white the purity of the Catholic religion and the red the Union.

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See also Mexican Independence Day.

This interpretation would vary with the secularization of the country, operated by the president Benito Juarez. So it was attributed to green the meaning of hope white that of unity, and red that of the blood shed by the nation’s heroes.

Another interpretation, for its part, proposes that the green symbolizes hope white the purity and the red the religion.


The coat of arms of Mexico, located in the white stripe of the flag, is inspired by the legend of the founding of Mexico-Tenochtitlan. According to this, the god Huitzilopochtli entrusted the Mexicas, the original people of Aztlán, to found a city in the place where they found an eagle perched on a cactus devouring a snake, because in that land they would have wealth and power.

They traveled the world for three hundred years until they found the sign. And there, where the Valley of Mexico is today, they founded the city of Mexico-Tenochtitlán. This event is recognized as the foundation of Mexico.

See also Shield of Mexico.

History of the Mexican flag

The flag of Mexico throughout its history has undergone various modifications, all important and representative of each moment, until reaching the design that is known today.

Since pre-Hispanic times, the various social groups that already lived in Mexico used to make use of banners as symbols alluding to their rulers.

Then, during the colonization of the Spanish, the independence war called “Cry of Independence” was developed by the Mexican people, which was led by Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla in the year 1810.

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At that time, the emblem of the Virgin of Guadalupe was recognized as the first banner or flag of Mexico.

Later, in the year 1813, another banner was designed, white with a border of blue and white squares and, in the middle, the image of an eagle posing on a cactus and around it a phrase written in Latin, which in Spanish is translates as follows “With eyes and nails equally victorious.”

In the year 1821 when Mexico was already an independent nation, it is said that General Agustín de Iturbide based himself on the colors of the flag of the Ejercito Trigarante or Army of the Three Guarantees, green, white and red, in order to design the flag of the First Mexican Empire.

This design already placed green, white and red colors in vertical stripes and, in the white stripe, the shield of the eagle with a crown. This flag was proclaimed official by de Iturbide on November 2, 1821 and was in force until the abolition of the empire in 1823.

Later, in 1823, the Constituent Congress decreed that the Shield placed on the flag should be an eagle in profile posing on a cactus and devouring a snake. This time, the eagle would not have a crown.

Years later, during the empire of Maximilian I of Mexico, another modification was made to the flag, the colors were maintained, but their proportions were adjusted and four eagles devouring a snake were placed in each corner of the flag. This design was only in force until the year 1867.

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During 1880 and 1916, when General Porfirio Díaz was in power, another modification was made to the national coat of arms.

This time the eagle appeared in front, slightly in profile to the left, with outstretched wings devouring a snake while resting on a nopal cactus adorned with an olive and oak branch.

In 1968, the latest design of the Mexican flag was adopted, approved by decree on September 16 of that year and confirmed by law on February 24, 1984. On this occasion the National Shield was renewed under the design by Jorge Enciso.