The Mexican flag, one of the flags in the world with a very interesting and complicated evolution, is the most widely recognized symbol of Mexico. Mexicans, and Mexican-Americans have, in the course of history, very proudly flown it in times of peace or war, during demonstrations or fiestas. The emblem-shield on the Mexican flag is a symbol of the Aztec heritage. If we listen to the beautiful legend that is told in Mexico, we will find out that gods had advised the Aztecs that they would establish their city where they saw an eagle perched on a prickly pear tree, eating a snake. The Aztecs came across this bird on a marshy lake which is nowadays the main plaza in Mexico City. The Aztec heritage which is to be found on the Mexican flag, is represented by the eagle, cactus and snake.
This Mexican flag was created in 1821 when the Independence movement ended victoriously. The official seal underwent several changes over this century. By the decree of September 17, 1968, the current official coat of arms came into existence with a few changes from that decreed by Dn. Venustiano Carranza in 1916. El Día de la Bandera or the Fiesta of the Mexican flag is celebrated every 24th of February. On this occasion and on ordinary days as well, the Mexican flag is proudly displayed virtually everywhere.
The Mexican flag consists of three bands of color green, white and red. The white band is in the middle of the Mexican flag and the symbol is precisely in the central part of this white band. The significance of the colors in the Mexican flag is as follows: green stands for hope in the independence movement and the fertility of the world; white represents the purity of the Catholic faith whereas red symbolizes union and the blood of the national heroes of Mexico and of the Spaniards who had joined in the quest for independence.
The Mexican flag embodies the rich history of Mexico. It evolved from three different traditions at a minimum: the indigenous, the colonial and hispanic religious heritage and the liberal force that wanted and supported the creation of independent sovereign states. The current Mexican flag was adopted in 1968, but the overall design has been used since 1821, when the First National Flag was created.
The current law of national symbols that governs the use of the national Mexican flag, has been in place since 1984. France was the source of inspiration of those who detached Mexico from Spain in 1821. They devised a new tricolor based on the flag of the liberation army. At the time the Italian tricolor was not in use. The Mexican flag now contains the coat of arms to differentiate it from the flag of Italy, though red, white, and green are the colors of the national liberation army in Mexico.