History of the New Mexico Flag
The New Mexico State Flag features a yellow field with the red sun symbol of the Zia in the center. The Zia sun symbol is a red circle with four groups or rays on each side, and each group consists of four small rays. The Zia was an indigenous tribe at Pueblo and the sun symbol is very sacred to Zia as it represents, the four directions (North, South, East, and West), the four times of day (morning, noon, evening, and night), the four stages of life (childhood, youth, middle age, and old age), and the four seasons (winter, spring, summer, and autumn). The Zia's also believe that there are four sacred obligations to life which are, one must develop a strong body, a clear mind, a pure spirit, and a devotion to the welfare of others. The red and yellow colors that are used on the flag are the colors of Old Spain. The New Mexico State Flag was adopted in 1925 and was the result of a competition to design the new flag. The designer was archaeologist Harry Mera who was familiar with the Zia sun symbol.
New Mexico is a state located in the Southwestern region of the United States of America. It shares borders with Utah, Texas, Arizona, Oklahoma, and Colorado. The capital of New Mexico is called Santa Fe. New Mexico is also referred to as "The Land of Enchantment" (Tierra del Encanto) because of the states natural beauty and rich history. During the 1800s, New Mexico was referred to as the "Wild, Wild West" as there were very few laws or lawmen in the area and it was home to many outlaws, gamblers, and horse thieves.
New Mexico was inhabited by Native American tribes and the Pueblo people which included, the Acoma tribes, San Juan, Santa Ana, and Zuni, as well as the Mogollan people and Anasazi. The first European to reach the area was Spanish conqueror Francisco Vasquez de Coronado who arrived in the area with a large army of soldiers and claimed it for Spain. In 1598, it became an official colony of Spain and lots of Catholic missions were built throughout the area as Priests were trying to force all of the natives to Christianity. In 1680, Pope, who was a Pueblo leader revolted against the Spanish as they were settling and claiming all the land, and, for a brief period, the Spanish were pushed out of the area. During the 1700s, more Spanish were arriving to the area and claiming more land and there was a constant battle throughout the years between the Spanish and the Native Americans.
In 1821, New Mexico finally became independent from Spain and became an area of Mexico. Following the Mexican-American war in 1848, the United States of America gained control of New Mexico and in 1850 it became a territory of the United States of America. New Mexico officially became the 47th State of the United States of America on January 6th, 1912.