Flag of Mexico
|Design||A vertical tricolor of green, white, and red with the National Coat of Arms of Mexico centered on the white band. |
The current national flag was adopted on September 16, 1968, and was confirmed by law on February 24, 1984. The current version is an adaptation of the design approved by presidential decree in 1916 by Venustiano Carranza, where the eagle was changed from a front-facing to a side-facing position. Before the adoption of the current national flag, official flags have been used by the government. All of these flags used the tricolor pattern, with the only differences being the changes in the coat of arms, which was still charged in the center of the white stripe. One possible reason for the 1968 flag and arms change was that Mexico City was the host of the 1968 Summer Olympic Games. Around this same time period, the plain tricolor flag that Mexico used as its merchant ensign was also legally abandoned. The reasoning is that without the coat of arms, the flag would not be the Mexican flag; it would become nearly identical to the Italian flag. 
Red, white, and green are the colors of the national liberation army in Mexico. The central emblem is the Mexican coat of arms, based on the Aztec symbol for Tenochtitlan (now Mexico City), the center of the Aztec empire. It recalls the legend that inspired the Aztecs to settle on what was originally a lake-island. The form of the coat of arms was most recently revised in 1968. A ribbon in the national colors is at the bottom of the coat of arms. Throughout history, the flag has changed several times, as the design of the coat of arms and the length-width ratios of the flag have been modified. However, the coat of arms has had the same features throughout: an eagle, holding a serpent in its talon, is perched on top of a prickly pear cactus; the cactus is situated on a rock that rises above a lake. The coat of arms is derived from an Aztec legend that their gods told them to build a city where they spot an eagle on a nopal eating a serpent, which is now Mexico City.