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Adopted in 1925, the flag combines the ancient sun symbol of the Zia Pueblo Indians (this symbol was found on a water jar made in the late 1800's in Zia Pueblo) with the red and yellow (gold) colors, (colors of Isabel of Castilla,) of the flag carried into New Mexico by the Spanish conquistadores in the early 1500's.
Red and yellow are traditional Spanish colors and originate from the coat of arms of the original Spanish kingdoms. No other countries used the red and yellow colors at that time. The colors honor the flag of Aragon Realm and was brought by the conquistadors. (Note that the red and yellow Cross of Burgundy flag used by the conquistadors, was the military flag of Spain in those years.)
The law designating the colors shall be the red and yellow of old Spain as the official New Mexico state colors is found in the New Mexico Statutes, Title 12, Article 3, Section 12-3-2.
CHAPTER 12 Miscellaneous Public Affairs Matters
ARTICLE 3 State Seal, Song and Symbols
12-3-2. [Adoption of flag for state of New Mexico.]
That a flag be and the same is hereby adopted to be used on all occasions when the state is officially and publicly represented, with the privilege of use by all citizens upon such occasions as they may deem fitting and appropriate. Said flag shall be the ancient Zia sun symbol of red in the center of a field of yellow. The colors shall be the red and yellow of old Spain. The proportion of the flag shall be a width of two-thirds its length. The sun symbol shall be one-third of the length of the flag. Said symbol shall have four groups of rays set at right angles; each group shall consist of four rays, the two inner rays of the group shall be one-fifth longer than the outer rays of the group. The diameter of the circle in the center of the symbol shall be one-third of the width of the symbol. Said flag shall conform in color and design described herein.
History: Laws 1925, ch. 115, § 1; C.S. 1929, § 128-101; 1941 Comp., § 3-1302; 1953 Comp., § 4-14-2.