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Video:The History of the Mexican Flag

with Laura Wilson

The Mexican flag has a long and complex history. But through revolution, independence, and political upheaval, the Mexican flag always remained a symbol of Mexico’s unique culture.See Transcript

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Transcript:The History of the Mexican Flag

The Mexican flag, a symbol of Mexico’s culture and history, has slowly evolved from era to era.

The first, unofficial Mexican flag, the banner of the Virgin of Guadalupe, was carried by the priest and rebel leader Miguel Hidalgo during the War of Independence. It is still a powerful symbol in Mexican culture. Mexico adopted a flag very close to the flag of today when it won independence in 1821.

Meaning of Mexican Flag Colors

The vertical green, white and red stripes symbolized independence, religion, and the unity of Europe and the Americas. In the center is Mexico’s coat of arms, which tells the Aztec legend of the founding of the city of Tenochtitlan.

The Aztecs said that the God Huitzilopochtli’ directed the Aztecs to rename themselves the Mexicas, and to settle at the site where they found a golden eagle, perched on a prickly pear cactus, clutching a serpent. While the site was in fact an unappealing swamp, that is where Mexico City stands to this day.

Symbolic Changes in the Mexican Flag

The flag has changed 3 times since. Mexico adopted today’s flag in 1968. It has a 4:7 ratio. As Mexico modernized, the colors of the flag took on new meanings. Now, the green stands for hope, the white stands for unity, and the red stands for the blood of national heroes. Mexicans salute the flag with their right arm over their chest, palm to the ground.

Mexicans celebrate Flag Day on February 24th, paying tribute to this symbol of Mexico’s political and cultural history.

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