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Mexico (1823-1864/1823-1880)

Estados-Unidos Mexicanos / United-States of Mexico; República Federal Mexicana / Federal Republic of

Last modified: 2003-01-03 by juan manuel gabino villascán
Keywords: iturbide (agustín de) | victoria (guadalupe) | peso de victoria | mexico | eagle (brown) | without crown | republic |
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[1823-1864/1823-1880 Mexican National Flag] 4:7[Unofficial proportions]
[National Flag and ensign]
[Variant - this flag is one of several which could be displayed]
[Flag no longer in use]
by Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán, March 14, 2002

Flag and coat of arms adopted: by Decree of April 14, 1823
Flag and coat of arms abolished: June 21, 1863
Flag and coat of arms re-adopted: July 15, 1867
The Republican resistance (1862-1967) led by Benito Juárez continued using the Republican flag but with the most variety of versions on the coat of arms.
Flag and coat of arms abolished: September 15, 1968
The April-14-1823 Decree was in effect until that one of 1968 abolished it.
In the meantime, some Mexican governments occupied fruitlessly on determininig
and unifying the correct position and other features
of the National Coat of arms but always based on the that (1823) Decree.

  • On land:
  • Civil, state and war flag.
  • At sea:
  • Civil, state, and war ensign.
    Naval jack (torrotito de proa)


Republican flag

In 1823, when Iturbide fell, the Congress decreted that the crown hold by the eagle was to be removed, but adding a half circle of green oak (enciño) and laurel branches.
Jorge Candeias, 27 Oct 1997, translating from La Bandera Mexicana website

When the country became a Republic on April 14th, 1823, the Constituent Congress changed the emblem, removing the crown and adding oak and laurel branches below. These elements have lasted until nowadays, though the eagle has changed from profile to three-quarters" and to affronty.
Santiago Dotor, 29 Dec 1998, summarizing from

Coat of arms

[Mexican Republic Coat of Arms]
by Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán, April 19, 2001

Variants of the Republican flag

    Main variante of the flag and coat of arms

    [Variant-1 of the Mexican Republic flag]
    by Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán, April 19, 2001

    Republican flag (1823-1843)
    One variant used in Monterrey, Upper California

    [Variant of the Republican flag used in Monterrey, Upper California]
    Cick on the image to see a larger one.
    Posted by Voker Keith, May 2000.

    Do we know for sure that this first flag was hoisted for the fist time still in 1822? If not, it could very well be the wanted First Flag of the Republic of 1823?
    There is an entire chapter in the mentioned book about the arrival of a Mexican ship in Monterey in September 1822 and about the change of flag on September 26, 1822. It was also mentioned that especially the Native Americans welcomed the change from the Spanish Coat of Arms to an American Symbol. Unfortunately the book does not mention where the picture was taken. (it seems like the flag was still on display somewhere, when the book was published [1969]).
    Volker Keith, May 2000.

    The flag illustrated in the scan is from Pacific House in Monterey Calif. It is one of two in the collection, this particular flag was supposedly hauled down for the Mexican Customs House in Monterey, California after the arrival of the American fleet in 1846. It was preserved by a local family until donated to the museum.
    It is not the first Mexican flag in California, but rather the last flag of Mexico in Monterey.
    Although we assume that the first Mexican flag hoisted in Monterey was the flag of the First Mexican Empire, there is very little evidence that the flag in the First Mexican Empire was ever widely used in California, and there is no surviving example.
    In fact, the use on both Spanish and Mexican flags in California seems to have been minimal, (i.e.: the Customs House as a matter of function so visiting ships would know where to pay their duties.)
    Contemporary accounts indicate that neither the Spanish nor the Mexican troops garrisoning the various presidios made colors every morning, instead they hoisted them upon need, the arrival of a ship or a visit by an important official. They both seem the have used the plain "civil" flags on a day to day basis.
    In 1800 the Governor of California noted in correspondence with Madrid to please send more flags as they were out of flags!
    This Pacific House Flag is the only known Mexican Government Flag in a collection in the United states. The others in Texas, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are all military colors.
    The flag is especially curious because it is a variant with only a sprig of olive instead of the "official" demi- wreath. Also, it . like the other is in 1:3 proportions, a common proportion used by Mexico in the mid-19th venture, especially by the merchant marine.
    I believe the flag has been taken off display by the Calif, State Parks, of which Pacific House is a part.
    James J. Ferrigan III, May 2, 2000.