Celebrated each year on February 24, Día de la Bandera, or “Flag Day” is a national holiday in Mexico that was officially first established in 1937 and commemorates the nation’s collective admiration for its unique traditions and distinct cultural heritage.
The occasion is marked by a variety of special television and radio programs, along with many special local festivities, including parades and speeches, to celebrate the history behind the holiday. Flags are proudly displayed in public venues, on vehicles and at private residences, while street vendors are on hand eager to sell commemorative memorabilia and culinary treats.
In popular resort areas such as Cancun and the nearby Riviera Maya, which is home to the idyllic yet modern coastal hamlets of Playa del Carmen and Tulum along the nation’s only Caribbean coast, the green, white and red colors of Mexico’s flag can be seen at every turn. Meanwhile, on the Pacific coast in Cabo San Lucas, locals and visitors alike gather in Plaza Mijares to enjoy a day and evening of merriment in honor of this special occasion.
Closer inspection of nation’s flag reveals a tribute to its ancient roots, since the Mexican Coat of Arms, which is depicted in the center white stripe, was inspired by an Aztec legend that tells of how they came to choose the site where Mexico City still stands today. The green has been adapted to represent the concepts of “hope” and “victory,” while the white stands for “purity of ideals” and “unity” and red is for the blood of the nation’s fallen heroes.
Much like Mexico itself, the flag is rich with tradition and symbolism and the three colors were originally adopted when independence was won from Spain during the War of Independence in 1821. On Flag Day, bystanders raise their right arms during parades and other ceremonies to pay respect and salute its passing, placing their hands on their chests parallel to their hearts.
Each year on this special day, families and friends throughout the country will gather to pay homage to their homeland and demonstrate pride in the long and storied history that has brought Mexico to its current position as the second largest economy in Latin America – and that will propel Mexico to even greater economic heights in the next few years.