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Estados Unidos Mexicanos

Last modified: 2006-02-18 by juan manuel gabino villascán
Keywords: mexico | bandera nacional | national flag | flag | trigarante | arms | construction sheet | sheet |
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[Bandera Nacional (National Flag of Mexico)] 4:7
[National Mexican Flag and Ensign]
by Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán, August 31, 2001

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.
Flag with "Golden Arms" adopted: No official decree has been issued.
In use since about 1988.
  • 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

  • In this page:

    Note by editor: Special thanks to Zach Harden for helping to keep the quality of the following images within the FOTW standards.


    Presentation of Mexico

    • Official name: Estados Unidos Mexicanos / United Mexican States / États-Unis du Mexique
    • Short-form names: México / Mexico / Mexique
    • Type of government: People's Democratic Representative Federal Republic.
    • Chief of State and Head of Government: Presidente de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos / President of the United Mexican States
    • Capital: Ciudad de México / Mexico City, Distrito Federal
    • Local divisions: 31 Estados (states), and one district: Distrito Federal
    • Nationality: Mexicana / Mexican / Mexicaine
    • Official Language: Español, also known as Castellano / Spanish / Espagnol
    • Other languages: Nahuatl, Mayan, Zapotec, Mixtec, Otomi, Tzeltal, Tzotzil, Totonac, English, French, German.
    • Religion: Catholic (mostly).
    • 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

    The Bandera Nacional

    [Mexican flag construction sheet]
    by Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán, August 31, 2001

    According the Ley sobre Escudo, la Bandera y el Himno Nacionales (Diario Oficial de la Federación February 8, 1984), in the article 3º are stated the features and proportions of the Mexican flag:

    Art. 3º:
    "The Bandera Nacional is a rectangle divided into three vertical stripes of identical measures, with the colors placed 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 wide of the white stripe. The proportion of the flag is four to seven. It could carry a rope or tie of the same colors bellow the truck.

    A model of the National Flag, authenticated by the Three Union Power representatives, will remain stored in the 'Archivo General de la Nación' (General Archive of the Nation), and another in the 'Museo Nacional de Historia' (National Museum on History)."

    Quoted and translated by Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán, June 22, 2001.

    The image shown above is based on an official illustration published in the Rule on Uniforms of the Mexican Army and Air Force (DOF December 18, 1975).
    Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán, June 22, 2001.

    [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 Bandera Nacional (...) could carry a rope or a corbata [cravatte] of the same colors bellow the truck.

    Quoted and translated by Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán, June 22, 2001.

    The colors of the Bandera Nacional

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

    "The Flag's colors were surely inspired in those of the arms of the Most Noble and Loyal City de la Purísma-Concepción de Zelaya granted by Phillip IV in 1669, and placed in the Regimiento de Celaya's flag of which Iturbide was colonel... Such arms are blue, white and red, in the middle of the white stripe there is a mezquite three under which there are the Regidores who had signed the first agreement... so, it is very probable that the new flag had been created in Celaya (Guanajuato), instead of Iguala (then a town in the Province of México, now Guerrero), because of security: Ituribide would not risk his life 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..."

    Carrera Stampa Manuel, El Escudo Nacional, Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público, México 1960, ill.
    Quoted by: Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán, October 4, 2001.

    Then, if this theory is true, why did blue change to green?
    Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán, October 4, 2001.

    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, because of 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; to see more click here: Imperial Army of the Three Guarantees.

    Due the secularism adopted in 1857 by means of the Liberal Constitution, proclaimed by President Ignacio Comonfort, and reinforced by the Leyes de Reforma published between 1859 and 1860 by Liberal President Benito Juárez García, colors of the National Flag had been acquired a new meaning:

      Green for hope;
      White for unity, purity, and honesty; and
      Red for parenthood and the blood of national heroes.
      (Marc Junele Hoyos, 29 Apr 1998)

    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.

    Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán, October 4, 2001.

    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 proposes has been arisen, such as to change the PRI emblem, something that Priístas not even consider; to avoid political parties' emblems to bear the national colors, and even to change the Bandera Nacional in order to avoid any similarity or resemblance to the PRI emblem, specially at this time when PRI lost the presidency to the Partido Acción Nacional (PAN).
    Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán, April 21, 2004.

    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

    Variants of the Bandera Nacional

  • Bandera Nacional with golden Coat of Arms
  • Bandera Nacional with full golden Coat of Arms

  • [Bandera Nacional (National Flag of Mexico) with golden Arms]
    [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]
    [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