The flag of Mexico is widely recognized for its unique design featuring the country’s coat of arms, the origin of which is over 500 years old.


The dominant visual element on the Mexican flag is the coat of arms featuring an eagle devouring a snake while perched on a cactus. This image is based on the Mexica myth of the founding of Tenochtitlan, known today as Mexico City. Although the original myth did not feature the eagle devouring a snake, the Spaniards added it soon after conquest to represent the triumph of good over evil.

The colors of the flag were first established in the flag of the Army of the Three Guarantees led by Agustín Iturbide and Vicente Guerrero on February 24, 1821 (Mexico’s national Flag Day). The green represented the independence of the Mexican people, white represented the purity of the Catholic faith, and red represented the unity of the Mexican people in their resistance to Spanish domination. Today no official meaning is given to the colors.


The first flag of independent Mexico following the flag of the Army of the Three Guarantees was the flag of Emperor Iturbide who ruled for only two years. It featured the coat of arms on a tricolor of green, white, and red, setting the standard for all subsequent flags.

Agustín I (1821-1823)

After the end of the First Mexican Empire a new coat of arms was created removing the crown and adding the snake for the first time. This flag flew from 1823 to 1864 when it was replaced by the flag of Maximilian I during the Second Mexican Empire. During his brief reign the arms of Mexico were remade in a more European style.

After the defeat of Maximilian I, the flag was returned to its previous form. In the late 19th century it was updated by Porfirio Díaz, then again by Venustiano Carranza after the Mexican Revolution. Carranza’s update changed the orientation of the eagle so that it was facing left instead of forward, and changed the type of snake to a rattlesnake. The flag was updated again in 1934 and 1968 but the changes were minor. Though the current flag was first used in 1968, it wasn’t confirmed by law until 1984.





Green #006847


Red #CE1126