Like the other 49 states, New Mexico has its own official flag. The flag of New Mexico features a red cross-like symbol in the center against a yellow background. It’s a relatively simple design that’s appealing and easy on the eyes. To learn more about the flag of New Mexico, keep reading. Below are five fun facts about the flag of New Mexico.
#1) Designed in 1920
The modern-day flag of New Mexico was designed in 1920 by American archeologist Harry Mera. Prior to this time, New Mexico didn’t have an official flag. This prompted state lawmakers to hold a contest seeking potential designs for an official flag. Mera entered the contest, after which he designed the flag of New Mexico.
#2) Colors Represent Old Spain
As shown in the adjacent photo, the flag of New Mexico features two colors: red and yellow. Mera chose these colors because they represent Old Spain. According to New Mexico’s flag legislation, “The colors shall be the red and yellow of old Spain.”
#3) Four Is Symbolic
When inspecting the flag of New Mexico, you may notice that that the red cross-like symbol has four points. And each of these four points consists of four vertical or horizontal lines. The number four is highly symbolic. It was considered a sacred and special number among the Zia Indians of New Mexico. The Zia Indians viewed the number four as representing the four seasons of the year, the four stages of life, the four directions of a compass and the four periods of the day.
#4) Only US Flag Without White and Blue
Of all the state flags, New Mexico’s flag is the only one that doesn’t feature white or blue. All other official state flags have either white, blue or a combination thereof. The flag of New Mexico is distinguished because it lacks these otherwise common and traditional colors. Instead, it features red and yellow. It’s important to note that there are only four state flags that don’t feature blue, including Alabama, California, Maryland and New Mexico. New Mexico, however, is the only one that doesn’t feature blue or white.
#5) Had Its Own Salute
You might be surprised to learn that the flag of New Mexico has its own salute. After reciting the pledge of allegiance, many schools and sports venues throughout New Mexico recite a salute to the flag of New Mexico. The salute includes the following phrase: “I salute the flag of the State of New Mexico and the Zia symbol of perfect friendship among united cultures.”