The Mexican Flag is a red, white and green banner
whose center contains an eagle eating a rattlesnake while standing with
its left claw upon a nopal cactus, and a half circle of green oak (enciño)
on the left (symbolizing strength) and laurel branches on the right
(symbolizing victory). The red symbolizes the blood that was shed during
the battles for Independence. The white symbolizes purity. The green
symbolizes the fertility of the earth.
The eagle eating a snake while perched upon a cactus is from an
ancient Aztec legend in which the Aztec people were told by
Huitzilopochtli (their God) that to find their promised land, they were
to find the place where an eagle landed on a nopal cactus while eating a
snake. After wandering for hundreds of years, they found the eagle on a
small swampy island in Lake Texcoco. This new Aztec home was named
Tenochtitlan (meaning "Place of the Nopal Cactus"), and in
1325, they built what is now called Mexico City.
This flag was first used on September 17, 1968 (it was decreed by
Gustavo Díaz Ordaz); it was a variation on a flag first used in 1821.
| Mexico History page