Flag Day, or ‘Día de la Bandera’ as it’s known in Mexico, is celebrated on February 24 every year, since it was first established. For those who did not know, the modern-day Mexican flag depicts an eagle atop a cactus, eating a snake. This fascinating emblem stems from an Aztec legend where this sight was witnessed by the Aztecs and taken to be a sign from the gods. As a result, they built their empire on that spot, and today, that spot is Mexico City, the capital of Mexico. Therefore this day is a celebration of national pride for Mexicans the world over, and we are thrilled to join in the celebrations too, as a sign of solidarity and appreciation for all the Mexican culture contributes.
History of Flag Day Mexico
Día de la Bandera (Flag Day) was first founded by General Lazaro Cardenas, the then-President of Mexico, in 1937. The event took place in front of a monument dedicated to General Vicente Guerrero — the first person to pledge allegiance to the flag of Mexico, back in 1821. However, the origins of this day can be traced back even further, to 1935, when Benito Ramirez, an employee of the Bank of Mexico, set up a special honor guard to celebrate the Mexican flag.
It was in 1821 that the Mexican flag was designed by Jose Magdaleno Ocampo, with the three colors representing religion, independence, and unity — the three key guarantees of the ‘Plan de Iguala.’ The Mexican flag is commonly known as the ‘Pendon Trigarante,’ and soon after it was designed, Mexico gained its independence from Spain. Today, the colors represent hope, purity, and blood.
It’s a day to recognize the struggle for independence against Spain, which the nation fought for, for 11 long years (known as the War of Independence). This war with Spain stretched from 1810 to 1821, following which the Catholic monarchy was overthrown and Mexico was declared as a federal republic (1823), consolidated in the Constitution in 1824. Though it is not an official holiday in Mexico, it is still a day that is celebrated with pride, as Mexicans hoist the flag atop buildings and businesses, and watch the military raise a giant Mexican flag as well. Further celebrations include a civic-military parade and an official event at the Mexican National Palace. Community celebrations can include plays and historical re-enactments.
Flag Day Mexico timeline
Mexico and other parts of South America are taken over by Spain and consolidated as ‘New Spain.’
A Catholic priest issues a revolutionary pamphlet that sparks the War of Independence in Mexico.
Shortly after the Mexican flag is tailored, Mexico achieves independence from Spain.
A Bank of Mexico employee (and patriot) celebrates the first Flag Day by honoring the Mexican flag.
Flag Day Mexico FAQs
Where in Mexico can you see the country’s largest flag ceremony?
The Zócalo — Mexico City’s main square, ringed by a Cathedral, the National Palace, and other impressive structures — is an eyeful at any time of the day or night, but at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., there’s a ceremony that’s especially worth witnessing. It is also a place that is known as the heart of Mexico.
What do Mexicans eat on Flag Day?
Chiles en ‘nogada’ are stuffed chiles, similar to the ones used for chile ’rellenos’ (green). They are covered in a creamy walnut sauce (white) and then topped with pomegranate seeds (red). The dish dates back to 1821 when nuns wanted to honor a visiting Mexican general with a special meal.
Why do we celebrate Flag Day in Mexico?
Mexicans remember national heritage and the meaning of the red, white, and green’ bandera’ every year, on February 24. The celebration marks the victory of Mexicans in the War of Independence against the Spanish, a struggle that lasted 11 years.
Flag Day Mexico Activities
Celebrate all that is Mexican
Join your Mexican friends in their celebrations, or gorge on some traditional Mexican food. There are many ways in which you can show your solidarity on this day (whether you are a Mexican or not).
Brush up on your Spanish
This day can also serve as motivation to brush up on your Spanish. Spanish is one of the most widely-spoken and learned languages in the world, so use this day as inspiration to either get started or pick up where you left off.
Educate yourself on Mexican history
Given how important this day is in the history of the nation of Mexico, it is worth diving into history to follow the fascinating journey of the country, encountering all sorts of colorful legends, folklore, and traditions along the way. If literature is not your thing, there are plenty of movies and documentaries too.
5 Uniquely Mexican Foods You Need To Try
Mexican soup made from red chile and cow stomach is said to be absolutely delicious.
Don’t let the name mislead you though, because these are stuffed with cheese, chorizo, refried beans, and potatoes; and then deep-fried for that extra oomph.
This is slow-cooked barbequed goat, which is spiced, wrapped up in banana leaves, and then cooked in an underground oven for ages.
It’s an edible fungus that grows on organic corn and turns the kernels blue-gray and mushroom-like.
This is ant larvae and is a delicacy that existed long before the Spanish conquered Mexico.
Why We Love Flag Day Mexico
It’s always important to honor a nation’s history and struggles, particularly those who have struggled to buy freedom for their country. Showing some pride in your roots is always something we encourage, and respect is key.
It’s a chance to show our appreciation in as many ways as we can think of, for a nation that has brought so much of its culture and heritage to the world at large.
There is so much one can learn from the history of any nation, and no knowledge is ever wasted. This day presents Mexicans and non-Mexicans alike with an opportunity to educate themselves more on this fascinating country and its historical roots.
Flag Day Mexico dates