The flag of New Mexico was adopted in 1925 after the Daughters of the American Revolution pushed New Mexico to design a contemporary and unique flag. A contest was held and the design chosen was created by Dr. Harry Mera of Santa Fe, New Mexico. The design has a red sun symbol of the Zia on a field of yellow. The colors honor Isabella of Castile.
The symbol has definite meaning; four is a sacred number which symbolizes the Circle of Life: four winds, four seasons, four directions, and four sacred obligations. In a 2001 survey by the North American Vexillological Association, the New Mexico flag was chosen the best designed of any US state, territory, or Canadian province.
New Mexico statute says, “New Mexico Statutes Annotated 12-3-2. [Adoption of flag for state of New Mexico.] That a flag be and the same is hereby adopted to be used on all occasions when the state is officially and publicly represented, with the privilege of use by all citizens upon such occasions as they may deem fitting and appropriate. Said flag shall be the ancient Zia sun symbol of red in the center of a field of yellow. The colors shall be the red and yellow of old Spain. The proportion of the flag shall be a width of two-thirds its length. The sun symbol shall be one-third of the length of the flag. Said symbol shall have four groups of rays set at right angles; each group shall consist of four rays, the two inner rays of the group shall be one-fifth longer than the outer rays of the group. The diameter of the circle in the center of the symbol shall be one-third of the width of the symbol. Said flag shall conform in color and design described herein.”