The History and Culture Behind the Mexican Flag

The history of the Mexican flag is long and storied.

Dating back more than 600 years, the Mexican flag tells a unique story. A story of strong, and diverse people, and their quest to find a home.

Celebrated annually on Mexican Flag Day, February 24th. This symbol of freedom and heritage is a sign of one of the most colorful cultures in the world.

How the Mexican Flag Came to Be

In the early 1300s, the Mexica people were a wandering group looking for a home. They’d been cast out from other communities. They believed that the all-powerful god Huitzilopochtli would guide them to their homeland. They looked for the sign of an eagle sitting on a prickly pear.

Eventually, that sign did come, although it was in an unlikely place: a small island in the middle of a boggy lake.

Resourceful and dedicated, though, the Mexica people began drying out the land and building upon it. Eventually, this effort expanded and became Mexico City. As the story has it, this plight became the symbolism of the Mexican flag, which features vertical green, white, and red bands, and the symbol of an Eagle on a cactus.

Some elements of the flag came into being later. For example, many sources report that the green, white, and red color first emerged in 1821 and went by the name “the Sierra.” The Puebla and Veracruz bestowed this name upon the flag. The colors were not officially adopted by Mexico until the 14th of April, 1823.

The Meaning of the Colors

While the symbolism of the eagle, snake, and cactus is clear, there’s much more speculation about the significance of the Mexican flag’s colors.

Until 1821, different communities throughout Mexico displayed different flags. In 1821, however, the first official flag was displayed. It featured the modern green, white, and red vertical stripes, although its eagle was wearing a crown.

By 1821, the Empire associated with the flag was abolished, and a second official flag was released. This flag also featured the colored stripes but featured an eagle with a snake in its talons and no crown.

The current flag of Mexico was released in 1984. This flag, of course, maintained unique Mexican History and the colors of prior flags. By this time, though, they had come to represent different things.

In its early years, the flag’s colors meant the following: red represented the union between Europe and the Americas, white was purity, and green represented the independence of Mexico from Spain.

Today, however, green represents hope and white still stands for purity. The red now signifies the spilled blood of the people who fought for independence.

The Mexican Flag: A Symbol of a Nation

A storied and historic symbol, the Mexican Flag represents battles lost and won, ancient ancestors, and a blending of cultures.

To celebrate the current inception of the Mexican Flag, visit us at Benito’s Authentic Mexican Food, where traditional Mexican culture and heritage still exist!