The Mexican flag is certainly one of the more eye-catching ones compared to the rest of the world. For starters, its coat of arms is an eagle fighting a serpent, while most country flags with animal imagery do not represent any conflict and have just one animal.
In order to find out why it is so and what it stands for, check out the following myths and facts about the Mexican flag.
Perfect Place for a Country
The coat of arms has a double function. First, it pays tribute to the Aztec heritage. According to the legend, the Aztecs were to found a city where they see an eagle clutching a snake on a cactus. The legend says this is exactly what they witnessed upon arriving at the place now occupied by Mexico City.
The other reason for such an interesting coat of arms is making the obvious distinction between the Mexican and Italian flags (the two were getting too much confused by the public in 1968 when Mexico was the host of the Olympic Games).
Mexican Flag Is a Copy of the Italian Flag
Is the Mexican flag identical to the Italian flag if it’s without the eagle? No, not at all. Admittedly, they may seem the same to an untrained eye. However, the shades of green and red are darker on the Mexican flag. Next, the dimensions are different. The aspect ratio is 4:7 for the Mexican flag, while the Italian ratio is more square in shape with its 2:3 ratio.
Finally, even though the eagle emblem was introduced due to the Olympic games so that people would have an easier time discerning the two similar flags, it is the Mexican flag that is older than the Italian flag.
The Mexican flag started flying in 1821, while Italy as we know it became an independent country in 1861.
Colors and Their Meaning
Normally, there is an official interpretation of the flag’s colors given by the country itself. When it comes to the Mexican flag, it seems that everybody tells a different story.
For instance, according to some sources, the white stands for Catholic purity, the religion which is predominant in Mexico. The green stands for independence from Spain’s colonialism, while the red is to represent unity with Europe as the continent where most elite Mexicans came from.
In another interpretation, green represents hope and victory, white represents the purity of ideals, whereas red has perhaps the most common interpretation since it stands for the blood of Mexican national heroes fighting for independence.
In yet another interpretation, red symbolizes union.
You Can’t Wear the Mexican Flag
Those that have tried to do it publicly ended up in trouble.
In Mexico, wearing the flag i.e. transforming it into a part of personal apparel is a clear sign of disrespect and is therefore penalized. This happened to Paulina Rubio, a Mexican singer, for posing wrapped naked in the flag on the cover of Cosmopolitan in 2008. She was fined $4,900.
More recently this year, in the US, a high school student in North Carolina was wearing the Mexican flag over the traditional graduation robes during the diploma ceremony. This was considered a violation of the event and he may be denied his high school diploma over his choice of accessory.
Purchase your Mexican Flag here!