Issue Date: 24 February 2021
Stamp Design: Sergio Barranca Rábago
Sheet Composition: 50 stamps (10 strips of 5 stamps each)
Stamp Size: 24 x 40 mm
Printing Method: Offset lithography
Paper: Matte white couché, self-adhesive 110 g/m²
Printer: Telleres de impresión de Estampillas y Valores (TIEV)
Quantity: 100,000 stamps
Día de la Bandera (“Flag Day”) is a national holiday in Mexico dedicated to the flag of Mexico. Flag Day is celebrated every year on February 24 since its implementation in 1937. It was established by the President of Mexico, General Lázaro Cárdenas, in front of the monument to General Vicente Guerrero; Guerrero was the first to pledge allegiance to the Mexican flag, on 12 March 1821.
The date was selected because more than a century earlier (25 February 1821), the “Plan de Iguala” or “Plan de las tres garantías” was proclaimed by Agustin de Iturbide and General Vicente Guerrero. This plan was based in three principles: “Religion, Independence and Unity”, which were represented on the flag’s colors. On this same date, Jose Magdaleno Ocampo tailored the first three color flag for what would soon be an independent Mexico. This flag, commonly known as the “Pendon Trigarante“, had the colors: white, green and red in that order, arranged diagonally with three eight-point gold stars, one on the center of each color banner.
When the Pledge is recited, it is customary to salute the flag with the raised arm Bellamy Salute while speaking. When the flag is being paraded, the arm is held across the chest, palm parallel to the ground.
The flag of Mexico (Bandera de México) is a vertical tricolor of green, white, and red with the national coat of arms charged in the center of the white stripe. While the meaning of the colors has changed over time, these three colors were adopted by Mexico following independence from Spain during the country’s War of Independence, and subsequent First Mexican Empire. The form of the coat of arms was most recently revised in 1968, but the overall design has been used since 1821, when the First National Flag was created.
Red, white, and green are the colors of the national army in Mexico. The central emblem is the Mexican coat of arms, based on the Aztec symbol for Tenochtitlan (now Mexico City), the center of the Aztec empire. It recalls the legend of an eagle sitting on a cactus while devouring a serpent that signaled to the Aztecs where to found their city, Tenochtitlan. A ribbon in the national colors is at the bottom of the coat of arms. Throughout history, the flag has changed several times, as the design of the coat of arms and the length-width ratios of the flag have been modified. However, the coat of arms has had the same features throughout: an eagle, holding a serpent in its talon, is perched on top of a prickly pear cactus; the cactus is situated on a rock that rises above a lake.
The current law of national symbols, Law on the National Arms, Flag, and Anthem, that governs the use of the national flag has been in place since 1984. The current national flag is also used as the Mexican naval ensign by ships registered in Mexico.
The current national flag was adopted on 16 September 1968, and was confirmed by law on 24 February 1984. The current version is an adaptation of the design approved by presidential decree in 1916 by Venustiano Carranza, where the eagle was changed from a front-facing to a side-facing position. Before the adoption of the current national flag, official flags have been used by the government. All of these flags used the tricolor pattern, with the only differences being the changes in the coat of arms, which was still charged in the center of the white stripe. One possible reason for the 1968 flag and arms change was that Mexico City was the host of the 1968 Summer Olympic Games. Around this same time period, the plain tricolor flag that Mexico used as its merchant ensign was also legally abandoned. The reasoning is that without the coat of arms, the flag would not be the Mexican flag; it would become nearly identical to the Italian flag.
There was also debate in 1984 about how the coat of arms would be depicted on the reverse of the flag. To solve this problem, a PAN deputy proposed a change to the Law of the National Arms, Flag and Anthem that same year to allow for the eagle to face to the right when the reverse of the flag is displayed. In 1995, the law was changed to include the following:
When the National Arms is reproduced in the reverse side of the National Flag, the Mexican Eagle will appear standing in its right grasp, holding with the left one and the beak the curved serpent.
The following pledge of fidelity is taken every February 22 and any day whenever new flags are given to institutions in accordance with the form established by Article 3 of the Law on the National Arms, Flag, and Anthem:
Jesús Helguera (28 May 1910 – 5 December 1971) was a Mexican painter. Among his most famous works are La Leyenda de los Volcanes, La Leyenda, Popocapetl & Ixtaccihuatl, Hidalgo, “Rompiendo las Cadenas“, El Aguila y la Serpiente, Juan Diego y la Virgen de Guadalupe, and La Patria.
Jesús Enrique Emilio de la Helguera Espinoza was born to Spanish economist Alvaro Garcia Helguera and Maria Espinoza Escarzaga on 28 May 1910 in Chihuahua, Mexico. He lived his childhood in Mexico City and later moved to Córdoba in the state of Veracruz. His family fled from the Mexican Revolution to Ciudad Real, Castilla la Nueva, Spain and thereafter moved to Madrid. Jesús first gained interest in the arts during primary school and would often be found wandering the halls of the Del Prado Museum. At the age of 14, he was admitted to the Escuela Superior de Bellas Artes and later studied at the Academia de San Fernando. Helguera later married Julia Gonzalez Llanos, a native of Madrid, who modeled for many of his later paintings and with whom he raised two children.
Jesús first worked as an illustrator at the Editorial Araluce working on books, magazines and comics with many of his published works done in gouache. He became a professor of visual arts at a Bilboa Art Institute at the age of 18 and worked for magazines such as Estampa. Helguera was forced to move back to the Mexican state of Veracruz due to the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War and following economic crisis. Upon his arrival, mural making was en vogue and he was hired by Cigarrera la Moderna, a tobacco company, to produce calendar artwork printed by Imprenta Galas de Mexico. Much of his work reflected his own fascination with Aztec Mythology, Catholicism, pin-up girls and the diverse Mexican landscape. His paintings showed an idealized Mexico and it was his romantic approach that gave his paintings the heroic impact that eventually made him famous. In 1940, he created what is arguably the most famous amongst his paintings, La Leyenda de los Volcanes, which was inspired by the legend of Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl. It was later purchased by Ensenanza Objectiva, a producer of didactic images for schools. Many of his paintings would later be reproduced in a variety of different calendars and cigar boxes reaching households and businesses throughout Mexico.
Helguera continued to paint privately and illustrate for various clients until his death on 5 December 1971. Jesús Helguera continues to be celebrated in Mexico, Spain and the United States.
THE LEGENDARY JESUS HELGUERA
The artist’s work contains beautiful cultural heritage scenes.