The Mexican flag is one of the most honored patriotic symbols in Mexico, it has three vertical stripes on green, white, and red with the national coat of arms in the center of the white stripe. While the meaning of the colors has changed over time, these three colors were adopted following the independence from Spain. The flag, along with the Mexican Coat of Arms and the National Anthem, are the three official patriotic symbols of Mexico.
The Mexican Flag
The current flag was adopted in 1968, but the overall design has been used since 1821, when the First National Flag was created.
Originally the green represented hope for independence, white represented purity of religion and red the union of Americans and Europeans, but during the secularization of the country the meanings of the colors was adapted to represent hope (green), unity (white) and the blood of the national heroes (red). The current meaning of the colors was published in the official Mexican Diary in 1984.
Throughout history, the flag has changed four times, as the design of the coat of arms and the length-width rations of the flag have been modified. However the coat of arms has maintained some features throughout: an eagle, holding a serpent in its talon, is perched on top of a prickly pear cactus; the cactus is situated on a rock that rises above a lake.
There are formalities to honor the Mexican flag when the flag is displayed in front of a crowd; those in military uniform must present a salute according to military regulations. Civilians who are present give the following salute: standing at attention, they raise their right arms and place their right hands on their chests, in front of the heart. The hand must be flat and the palm of the hand is facing the ground. This salute is known as the "The Civil Salute to the National Flag". During certain times of the year, the flag is saluted by both civilians and government personnel. Mostly, these events coincide with national holidays.
The flag national day is celebrated every year on February 24 since 1937.
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