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Tlaxcala, Mexico

Estado Libre y Soberano de Tlaxcala

Last modified: 2005-03-12 by juan manuel gabino villascán
Keywords: mexico | tlaxcala | coat of arms | unofficial flag |
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Note: Tlaxcala has an official or semiofficial flag for domestic use:

Tlaxcala alternative unofficial flag
by Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán, October 06, 2001.
See: Flag of Tlaxcala

However Tlaxcala flies also an unofficial flag in white charged with the coat of arms:

Tlaxcala unofficial white flag 4:7[Non-official proportions]
[Defacto flag]
[One or more variants under the same basic design]
by Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán, October 06, 2001.
See: Coat of arms on white background: unofficial flags

See: See also:

Presentation of Tlaxcala

  • Official name: Estado Libre y Soberano de Tlaxcala / Free and Sovereign State of Tlaxcala
  • Short-form names: Estado de Tlaxcala / State of Tlaxcala; Tlaxcala
  • Location: Center-South of Mexico.
    It neighbors the Mexican States of México (E), and Puebla (N, W, S)
  • Area: 3,914 km2
  • Municipalities: 60
  • Population: 884,000 inhabitants
  • Capital: Tlaxcala (Pop.: 15,000)
  • Statehood: February 5, 1857
  • Arms adopted: Granted by Charles V on Abril 22, 1535.

Reported by Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán, October 06, 2001.

Coat of arms

Tlaxcala coat of arms
by Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán, October 06, 2001.

The arms consist on a "French style" green-bordered red shield. It bears a yellow castle resembling Castile (Spain) whose flag over the main tower shows the Austrian arms.
Over the border, at the top corners there are two golden initials "I" and "F" for the Catholic Kings of Spain, Isabel (Elizabeth) and Fernando (Ferdinand) respectively; between them the letter "K", also golden, for Karolus (Charles I of Spain and V of Germany) who granted to Tlaxcala such arms; in both side two leaves, and in the bottom two skulls and two crossed bones.
Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán, October 12, 2001

Flag of Tlaxcala

Click here to see the flag

A couple years ago I have read in the FOTW pages about some unidentified diagonal red and white flag, said to have been seen in Veracruz by Spanish officials while the King and Queen of Spain were visiting Mexico. As long as I remember, FOTW said that it was seen in an indigenous town and that it was flown as a salute to their majesties by the Indians.

Later I recognized the same flag in the murals of the State Government Hall in Tlaxcala (State of Tlaxcala), in a rather unusual image depicting the four Indian lords of Tlaxcala riding their horses side by side as allies with the Spanish conqueror to battle against the Aztecs.
History tells us that Tlaxcala was the only Indian Mexican nation that officially supported the Spaniards all along the conquest, since that alliance helped Tlaxcala to get rid of the domination menace they suffered from the Mexicas (or Aztecs, as they are better known), and let them get a privileged treatment by the Spanish.
Tlaxcala and Mexico were long time enemies and Spanish conquest became an excellent opportunity for Tlaxcala to vanquish the Aztecs. Since then, Tlaxcala has been held as a 'traitor' nation by official Mexican historians.
Official Mexican history, teached in primary schools, tells that Aztecs were 'good', Spaniards were 'bad' and Tlaxcaltecas were 'traitors'.
History teached in the State of Tlaxcala tells that Aztecs were conquerors, Spaniards were allies and that Tlaxcala won the war against Aztecs thanks to Spanish support. This is opposed to what pupils learn all around the rest of Mexico, but it is Tlaxcala's view of things.

So, and after asking a few historians, I think that red and white diagonal flag seems to represent some kind of allegiance from Indians towards the Spanish crown, at least in those regions Hernán Cortés crossed in his campaign against the Aztecs (Veracruz, Puebla and Tlaxcala).
That flag had to be forbidden or, at least, 'secretly' flown, since that allegiance from the Indians towards the Spanish crown is officially excluded by Independent Mexican history. Indians and Spaniards officially had to be eternal enemies.

This flag has had an important place only in the State of Tlaxcala (in the murals of State Hall, at least and as long as I know), and it is understandable that no Mexican officials (excepting those grown in Tlaxcala) would know anything about the flag and its significance.
Now Tlaxcala has been governed for a few years by a left-wing opposition party, which has used a new State motto: "Cradle of the Nation".

Many people wonder why Tlaxcala should be considered the cradle of the Mexican nation (a privilege usually reserved to Mexico City, whose Aztec foundation is depicted in the national flag and coat of arms), but the explanation is that if Tlaxcala is not the cradle of the official Aztec 'Mexicanity', it is indeed the first place where Indians and Spaniards worked, battled and melted together to form the present Mexican mixed ethnics.

The real news is that this semi-clandestine red and white diagonal flag, but now with the addition of the State of Tlaxcala Coat of Arms in its center, has begun to fly openly in public buildings, industries and touristic facilities in the State of Tlaxcala.

I do not know if it is official (I am sure Federal authorities would not like to authorize its use as a State Flag), I guess it is not, but I have been there just yesterday and I have seen it flying almost everywhere.

Gerardo Francisco Kloss Fernandez del Castillo, May 27, 2003