A Brief History of the Mexican Flag
By Veronica Toro
In 1821, with the enactment of the Iguala Plan and the union of Agustín de Iturbide and Vicente Guerrero with the Trigarante Army, Mexico’s 11 year struggle for Independence finally ended.
On February 24th of that same year, Iturbide decided to renew the flag as a symbol of the rebirth of the country and the ideals of the insurgent movement.
Tailor José Magdaleno Ocampo was responsible for initiating the manufacture of the flag, which resulted in a design of three diagonal stripes of different colors:
- White: a representation of the purity of the Catholic religion.
- Green: the color of independence
- Red: a symbol of the motivation for freedom and blood of soldiers killed in the war.
Each stripe had a star at the top and one in the center. On November 2nd however, Iturbide ordered the same colors to remain, but instead of the stars, a crowned eagle upon a cactus was to be placed in the center.
In 1823, the bird appeared without the crown, devouring a snake. Later, during his administration in 1916, Venustiano Carranza approved an image of the eagle from the front instead in profile, with wings outstretched. The flag underwent various changes due to the different orders of political regimes. The final design was determined in 1983, by President Miguel de la Madrid Hurtado, and is what we now see today.
During civic festivities honor is paid to this patriotic symbol by standing in a firm position with the right hand extended over the chest, palm down at heart level. For hundreds of years, the “flag salute” has been a ritual that all Mexicans learn, beginning in our first year of primary school along
with the song:
“Es mi bandera la enseña nacional
Son estas notas su cántico marcial
Desde niños sabremos venerarla
Y también por su amor vivir”…
“This is my flag, the national symbol
These notes are its martial song
From childhood we know how to honor it
And to live for its love“…