Flag of New Mexico

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The State of New Mexico
Flag of New Mexico.svg
Proportion 2:3
Adopted since 1925
Designed by Harry P. Mera

The flag of the U.S. state of New Mexico consists of a red sun symbol of the Zia on a field of yellow. It was designed in 1920 and officially introduced in 1925. The colors invoke the flags of Habsburg Spain (the Cross of Burgundy flag) and the Crown of Aragon brought by the conquistadors.

It is one of four U.S. state flags not to contain the color blue (the other three being Alabama, California, and Maryland).


The Cross of Burgundy flag (which is shown here with yellow background, flag of the Spanish Empire during the reign of Philip II of Spain (1556-1598)) served as the flag of the Spanish viceroys in the New World. New Mexico's flag uses similar colors.

The Daughters of the American Revolution pushed New Mexico to design a contemporary and unique flag in 1920. A contest to design the new state flag was won by Dr. Harry Mera of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Mera was an archaeologist who was familiar with the Zia Sun symbol found at Zia Pueblo on a 19th-century pot. The symbol has sacred meaning to the Zia. Four is a sacred number which symbolizes the Circle of Life: the four directions, the four times of day, the four stages of life, and the four seasons. The circle binds the four elements of four together. His winning design is the flag that the state uses today.[1] The salutation, “I salute the flag of the State of New Mexico and the Zia symbol of perfect friendship among united cultures," was many years ago commonly recited in New Mexico public schools after the United States pledge of allegiance.

The New Mexico state flag flying with the national flag

For the first 14 years of statehood, New Mexico had no official flag. During the San Diego World's Fair of 1915, the fair featured an exhibit hall in which all the state flags were displayed. Since New Mexico did not have an official flag, an unofficial flag was displayed, consisting of a blue field with the United States flag in the upper left corner, the words "New Mexico" and "47" (because New Mexico is the 47th state) in silver lettering in the center of the flag, and the state seal in the bottom right corner.[2] Some historical references (including Cram's Unrivaled Atlas of the World) also show the words "The Sunshine State" wrapped around the seal in the lower right corner.

NAVA survey[edit]

New Mexico has the best-designed flag of any U.S. state, territory or Canadian province, according to a 2001 survey by the North American Vexillological Association.[3]

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