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Mexico - Giant flags

Last modified: 2002-12-07 by juan manuel gabino villascán
Keywords: mexico | giant flags | big flags |
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[National Flag of Mexico]
[National Mexican Flag and Ensign]
by Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán, August 31, 2001


Mexico has mounted monstrous 164-by-94-feet Mexican flags, hung from gigantic 109-ton flagpoles over three football fields tall, in three locations directly across from the U.S. - El Paso, San Diego, and Laredo TX. None of the U.S. cities has been able to justify the expense of a matching U.S. flag project.
quoted by Roy Stilling, 1998.02.04

There seems to be an official programme, financed and organized by the Mexican army, of erecting such banderas monumentales throughout Mexico, in places of national significance and in border cities in particular. In June last year, the Houston Chronicle reported that half a dozen banderas monumentales had be erected in Mexico and that several others were planned. The cities of Enseñada, Nuevo Laredo and Cancún were mentioned in a report in another newspaper.

One of the most recent such flags was inaugurated by president Zedillo in front of a panel of national and local dinitaries and a crowd of cheering spectators in Nuevo Laredo on 21 January. The Texas newspaper Laredo Morning Times reported the day after that the Nuevo Laredo flag is 28,6 x 50 m, weighing 350 kg, and hoisted on a flag pole 103 m tall. The flagpole in Mexico City is taller, apparently, with its 105,5 m. The Laredo Morning Times quoted the president's speech at the ceremony in Nuevo Laredo: «This flag is dedicated to all citizens, especially to the children.» adding that «The flag is to remind future generations how important their patriotism is.»

Another monumental flag was installed at Ciudad Juárez on 1997.06.26. This time the flag pole was 104,5 m tall and carried a flag that was 28,5 x 50 m. The site where the flagpole was put up is highly symbolic. The site is called Chamizal Park and is on the land Mexico reclaimed from the USA by the 1963 treaty that redefined the border between the countries (because the Rio Grande's changed course). Again president Zedillo was the man in charge of inaugurating the giant flag. He made no secret of the intentions behind the project, saying, according to the Houston Chronicle, that «This flag will remind everyone across the border that we are a sovereign nation.» He added that «It is also a reminder that we are an independent nation ready to defend its people wherever they may be.»

Some Americans in El Paso, across the border from Ciudad Juarez, apparently felt provoked by the giant flag that is visible on both sides of the border. An attempt was made to raise money for a similar giant United States flag on the El Paso side, but the effort was abandoned because of the cost. It was reported that it would take 450 000 dollars to erect a pole with a giant flag.

Jan Oskar Engene, 1998.02.04