Flag of Mexico, explanation for children

Surely you know these lyrics because they accompany one of the most patriotic melodies of our country, The Martial Chant of the Mexican Flag. A chant we have sung since childhood; we sing it in honor of the Mexican flag, one of the most beautiful in the world. Do you know how to explain to your children the meaning of our national flag and why it is our pride? Flag of Mexico, explanation for children

“My flag rises on the flagpole, like a sun between soft winds and trills. Deep inside, in the temple of my veneration, I hear and feel my heart beating happily. My flag is the national ensign; these notes are its martial chant. From childhood, we will learn to revere it and also for its love, live!”

Martial Chant of the Mexican Flag

“Se levanta en el mástil mi bandera, como un sol entre céfiros y trinos. Muy adentro, en el templo de mi veneración, oigo y siento contento latir mi corazón. Es mi bandera la enseña nacional, son estas notas su cántico marcial. Desde niños sabremos venerarla y también por su amor vivir”.

Toque de Bandera de México

Here we give you some basic and interesting information about its origin, evolution, and history so that it is clear to your little ones.

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February 24 is the Mexican Flag Day

On February 24, Flag Day is commemorated; it is a symbol of freedom, justice, and nationality that represents the courage and struggle of Mexicans.

It is very important because it is part of the symbols that give us identity and pride. Since childhood, we are taught to respect it and treat it with honor; that is why we celebrate it.

The Day of the Flag of Mexico was established for the first time on February 24, 1934, the year in which the first legislation of the national symbols was approved. However, this national holiday was officially recognized until 1940 by President Lázaro Cárdenas in honor of the Independence, culminated on February 24, 1821.

On February 24, 1984, the new Emblem, the Flag, and the National Anthem came into force, and Flag Day was established.

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What do the colors mean?

According to the General Secretariat of the Government, the green, white and red of the current flag have their origin in the flag of the Army of the Three Guarantees or Trigarante, which achieved the consummation of Independence in 1821.

  • White: It meant religion (specifical faith in the Catholic Church).
  • Red: It was a symbol of union (between Europeans and Americans; remember that at that time, Iturbide established the first Mexican Empire).
  • Green: It referred to the Independence of Spain.

Over time the meaning was modified. During the presidency of Benito Juárez, this meaning was considered:

  • Green: Hope
  • White: Unity
  • Red: The blood of national heroes

Although this is the most accepted version, it must be said that Article 3 of the “Law on the Emblem, the Flag, and the National Anthem” does not give an official symbolism to the colors. Hence, for some, green refers to the battlefields, white to peace, and red to passion and courage.

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The meaning of the emblem

The emblem is based on the legend about how ancient Tenochtitlán, located in what is now Mexico City, was founded.

According to Aztec mythology, these people wandered 302 years in our national territory looking for the sign of the god Huitzilopochtli to settle: an eagle devouring a snake. That was the sign of having found the right place and would be blessed with prosperity and abundance.

Evolution of the Flag of Mexico

Our country has never ceased to have a national flag. According to the Government of Mexico website, four flags are officially recognized, representing the moment’s historical events.

However, if the banner of the priest Miguel Hidalgo were counted as the first flag, there would actually be 13 flags in the history of Mexico. Let’s look at just the four most important ones:

First flag: Iturbide’s flag

It was created by Agustín de Iturbide, leader of the Trigarante Army, and made by the tailor José Magdaleno Ocampo in 1821.

Photo: Wikimedia

Second flag: Federal Republic

This was adopted after the establishment of the first Federal Republic in 1823. The crown of the eagle’s head was removed, but the snake and an olive and laurel branch were added. Its use was interrupted in 1864 due to the dissolution of the Federal Republic.

Photo: Wikimedia
Photo: Wikimedia

Third flag: The Second Mexican Empire

The green, white and red fields were used again with the National Emblem in the center of the white stripe. Four crowned eagles were inserted at the four corners. This design was ordered by Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico and sought a certain resemblance to the French Imperial Coat of Arms. This flag ceased to be used in 1867 with the execution of Maximilian I.

Flag of the Second Empire. Photo: Wikipedia
Flag of the Second Empire. Photo: Wikipedia

Fourth flag: The current one

It is an adaptation to the design approved in 1916 by President Venustiano Carranza. The current flag was assumed by decree of President Gustavo Díaz Ordaz due to Mexico’s role as host of the XIX Olympic Games.

The official decree indicates, “The national flag and the army´s flag will be tricolor, always showing green, white and red, arranged vertically with a crowned eagle in the center of the white stripe.”

Among other important features, it stands out that the emblem stands on both sides, and the eagle’s profile was changed from the front to the left profile.

Mexican flag. Photo: Wikipedia
Mexican flag. Photo: Wikipedia

As you can see, we didn’t always have the tricolor flag with an emblem in the center; it has been evolving. And in case you were wondering… No, the Mexican flag did not copy the Italian flag or vice versa. That both have the same colors is a remarkable coincidence. Although, if you look closely, you will notice that the Mexican has darker shades of green and red.

Oh, and don’t forget that due to the detail of its design and the meaning of all its elements, in 2008, the Mexican flag won recognition on the site 20minutos.es as the most beautiful in the world. One hundred and four countries and almost 8 million users participated.

Translated by: Ligia M. Oliver

Spanish version

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