The flag of New Mexico consists of a red sun symbol of the Zia on a yellow background. The colors are said to honor the flag of the Aragon Crown and reflects to colors of the modern day flag of Catalan in Spain. A flag bearing similar colors was reportedly carried by the conquistadors exploring New Mexico in the 1500s.
But the flag’s history doesn’t begin in 1912, the year New Mexico became a state. The original state flag is shown below.
The Daughters of the American Revolution encouraged New Mexico to design a contemporary and unique flag in 1920. A contest to design the new state flag was won by Dr. Harry Mera of Santa Fe. Mera was an archeologist who was familiar with the sun symbol of the Zia Pueblo. The symbol has sacred meaning to the Zia related to the life significance of the number four.
The salutation to the flag still reflects this connection to one of the original cultures of New Mexico– “I salute the flag of the State of New Mexico and the Zia symbol of perfect friendship among united cultures.”