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The New Mexico State Flag

Since 1912, when New Mexico entered the union, two official state flags have flown over this southwestern state.

The first flag of the state was designed by New Mexico historian Ralph Emerson Twitchell and featured a design quite different from the current flag. Mr. Twitchell's flag was blue with a small representation of the flag of the United States in the upper left hand corner and the New Mexico State Seal in the lower right hand corner. "NEW MEXICO" was embroidered diagonally across the field from the lower left hand corner to the upper right hand corner.

Enter the Daughters of the American Revolution who had been quite involved with the official state flag designations in other states. In 1920, the Daughters of the American Revolution suggested that a new design be adopted that was more representative of the unique character of New Mexico. This idea had many supporters and, as had been done in other states, a design competition was launched. The winner was Dr. Harry Mera, a Santa Fe physician and archeologist. The flag was constructed by Dr. Mera's wife, Reba.

New Mexico state flag
[ LARGE PRINT    [ LARGER PRINT ]    [ COLOR ME ]

The simple and meaningful design features an interpretation of an ancient symbol of the sun as found on a late 19th century water jar from Zia Pueblo. This red symbol is called a "Zia" and is centered on a field of yellow.

Four is the sacred number of the Zia and can be found repeated in the four points radiating from the circle. The number four is embodied in the four points of the of the compass, North, East, South and West; in the four seasons of the year Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter; in the 24 hours of each day by sunrise, noon, evening and night; by four seasons of life, childhood, youth, adulthood and old age. The Zia also believed that with life came four sacred obligations: development of a strong body, a clear mind, a pure spirit and devotion to the welfare of people/family. All of these things are bound together within the circle of life.

The red and yellow colors are the colors of Isabel of Castilla brought to the continent by the Spanish Conquistadors.

New Mexico Flag Law

The following information was excerpted from the New Mexico Statutes and Court Rules, Chapter 12, Article 3.


Source: New Mexico Legislature, New Mexico Statutes and Court Rules Unannotated, (http://www.conwaygreene.com/nmsu/lpext.dll?f=templates&fn=main-h.htm&2.0), October 24, 2007.
Source: Flags of the Fifty States and Their Incredible Histories: The Complete Guide to America's Most Powerful Symbols by Randy Howe. The Lyons Press; First edition edition (November 1, 2002).
Source: State Names, Seals, Flags and Symbols: A Historical Guide Third Edition, Revised and Expanded by Benjamin F. Shearer and Barbara S. Shearer. Greenwood Press; 3 Sub edition (October 30, 2001).
Source: State Names, Flags, Seals, Songs, Birds, Flowers, and Other Symbols by George Earlie Shankle. Reprint Services Corp; Revised edition (June 1971).


Additional Information

New Mexico (U.S.): FOTW "Flags of the World" Web Site.

State Flags: Complete list of state flags with links to large pictures and images suitable for coloring.

Flag Terminology: The parts of a flag and terms associated with its design.

Visit Our Flag Shop: Purchase all kinds of flags and banners, lapel pins, 50 state flag sets, decals, patches, college banners at the Flag Shop.

Purchase New Mexico State Flags: You may purchase quality state flags from the United States Flag Store.

Flags of the Fifty States and their Incredible Histories: A complete guide to America's most powerful symbols by Randy Howe.

How Proudly They Wave: Flags of the Fifty States: This book, by Rita D. Haban, is geared toward younger readers.

 
 
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