The first thing, this morning, I emailed Jorge to wish him a happy Diá de la Bandera (Flag Day). Even though he is a naturalized U.S. citizen, Jorge still feels a nostalgic tug in his heart for the country of his birth. He says he feels a similar emotion towards Mexico as do people of Irish descent feel towards Ireland or people like me towards Sweden. He enjoys honoring his heritage.
The official holiday, Diá de la Bandera, was first implemented on February 24, 1937 by then President, General Lázaro Cárdenas. The 24th is the anniversary of the day that Jose Magdaleno Ocampo completed the first tri-color flag for the soon to be independent nation, Estados Unidos de México (United States of Mexico). The birth of the first flag,
Pendon Trigarante, coincided with the Proclamation of the Plan of Iguala, sometimes called Plan of the Three Guarantees. The Plan of Iguala was based upon three principles, religion, independence, and unity. The first Mexican flag was an attractive tri-color, diagonally arranged banner of white, green, and red with a gold star placed in the center of each stripe.
The Mexican Flag many of us know was officially adopted in 1968 even though the basic style had been used in various forms since Independence. Some people erroniously believe that the only difference between the Italian tri color and the Mexican tri-color is the presence of a coat of arms on the Mexican Flag. However, the Italian tri-color has lighter shades of green and red and has slightly different proportions in shape than those of Mexico’s flag.
Around 1325 CE, during the build up of the Aztec civilization, one of the elders saw a vision from one of the Gods, Huitzilopochtli. The Aztec people would know the exact place to build their zocólalo or central city, when they saw what was in the vision. The wise men were told that when they saw an Eagle perched upon a Nopal Cactus on an island, grasping a rattlesnake in its talon, they should build Tenochititlan there. The city was, in fact, built in that place. After the European conquests, that city is now Ciudad de México, or México, D. F., or Mexico City. It is this story that is depicted on the seal.
Jorge says that the interpretation of the Flag that he learned from his grandfather is this: The Green stripe represents hope and victory. The White stripe shows the purity of Mexican ideals. Red represents the blood of the founding heros. The Seal represents the nation’s roots.
The Blue Jay of Happiness says, “¡Vive la Revolución!”