The flag of the state of New Mexico consists of a red sun symbol of the Zia on a field of yellow. The colors honor Isabella I of Castile, her Habsburg heirs and the conquistadors who explored in her name.
The Daughters of the American Revolution pushed New Mexico to design a contemporary and unique flag in 1920. A contest to design the new state flag was won by Dr. Harry Mera of Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Mera was an archaeologist who was familiar with the Zia Sun Symbol found at Zia Pueblo on a 19th century pot. The symbol has sacred meaning to the Zia. Four is a sacred number which symbolizes the Circle of Life: four winds, four seasons, four directions, and four sacred obligations. The circle binds the four elements of four together. His winning design is the flag that the state uses today.
The salutation, “I salute the flag of the State of New Mexico and the Zia symbol of perfect friendship among united cultures," was many years ago commonly recited in New Mexico public schools after the United States pledge of allegiance.
New Mexico has the best-designed flag of any U.S. state, territory or Canadian province, according to a 2001 survey by the North American Vexillological Association.