This page is part of © FOTW Flags Of The World website

Mexico 1823-1863/1867-1880

Apr. 14, 1823-Sept. 20, 1863/Jul. 15, 1867-Dec. 30, 1880

Last modified: 2009-06-19 by
Keywords: victoria (peso de) | mexico | eagle | crown (without) | republic | juárez (benito) | díz (porfirio) |
Links: FOTW homepage | search | disclaimer and copyright | write us | mirrors

[Second national flag: 1823-1863/1867-1880. By Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán] 4:7[Unofficial proportions] | 2:3 (from 1891 to 1968) | [National flag and ensign] | [National flag and, state and war ensign] (from 1891 to 1968) | Reconstruction | [Variant - this flag is one of several which could be displayed] | [Flag no longer in use]
by Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán, March 14, 2002.
Badge based on [ijb20] and [csm60]

Flag and coat of arms adopted: By Decree of April 14, 1823.
In use: Apr. 14, 1821-September 20, 1863 and
Jul. 15, 1867-Dec. 30, 1880.
Flag and coat of arms re-adopted: July 15, 1867.
Flag and coat of arms definitely abolished: September 15, 1968.
Revisions: 1880, 1899, 1916 and 1934.
Use: On land: Civil, state and war flag.
At sea: Civil, state, and war ensign.
National flag and, state and war ensign from 1861 to 1968
Naval jack ((torrotito de proa) until 1945.



The April-14-1823 Decree was in effect until 1968, when a new law abolished it, not considering the Imperial Age (1863-1867). In the meantime, some republican governments occupied fruitlessly on determininig and unifying the correct position and other features of the National coat of arms, always basing them-selves on the 1823 Decree.

The Republican resistance (1862-1967) led by Benito Juárez García, at the time, Constitutional President of the United Mexican States, continued using the Republican flag with the most variety of versions of the coat of arms. Such a flag would be officially restored on July 15, 1867.

Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán, March 14, 2002.

Coat of arms

[Republican Coat of Arms 1823-1863/1867-1880. By Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán]
by Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán, April 19, 2001.
Based on [ijb20] and [csm60]

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 (encino) and laurel branches below. These elements have lasted until nowadays, though the eagle has changed from profile to three-quarters and to affronty (...)

From La Bandera Mexicana (website no longer available) and (website no longer available)
Translated and summarized by Jorge Candeias, 27 Oct 1997 and Santiago Dotor, 29 Dec 1998.

Variant of 1823 flag used in Monterrey, Upper California

[Variant of the Republican flag used in Monterrey, Upper California]
Posted by Voker Keith, May 2000.
Regif by: António Mártins.

The flag is from Pacific House in Monterey, California. One of two in the collection, this particular flag was supposedly hauled down for the Mexican Customs House in Monterey 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 of 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.

James J. Ferrigan III, 2 May 2000

1823 proposals

After the Empire was overtrown in 1823, the new government formed a Commission in order to establish the new national flag if necesary. On April 12, the Commission led by Servando Teresa de Mier, delivered the report to the General Congress about the new national coat of arms and flag, which said:

(...) The present commission agrees to keep using the eagle standing over a prickly pear growing from a stone in the middle of a lagoon, since such an emblem is part of Mexico history; the only difference is to remove the crown from the eagle.

"Regarding the flag, the commission was informed that the flag adopted by the 'Junta Provisional' in 1821, is the same used before us by the Republic of Colombia so far. Thus, it is necesary to replace it.

This way, the commission states that the flag to adopt should be that flown by the first independence defenders before 1821. This flag has already sailed at the Mexican Gulf waters, and it is known by the neighboring governments.

Therefore, the National Flag is a field divided into sixteen (16) parts, Four in the middle are white charged with the eagle over the nopal plant on a rock, while the remainder parts surround are made of 12 rectangles in white and blue begining from the upper corner near the hoist. The flag shall be bordered in red; the border's width is about one-tenth of the flag's hoist.

[1823 proposal] [1823 proposal National flag, state and war ensign] | [Proposal] | [Reconstruction]
by Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán, May 20, 2002

"(...) That the Merchant Marine or private ships use the same flag, but with the largest rectangle bearing only a nopal plant over the stone."

[1823 Mexico National Merchant flag proposal] [1823 proposal National Merchant ensign] [Proposal] [Reconstruction]
by Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán, May 20, 2002

The proposal were rejected, excepting to that regarding the national coat of arms.

Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán, May 20, 2002

Anything below this line was not added by the editor of this page.