What is the Shield of Mexico?
The coat of arms of Mexico is one of the three symbols that represent the Mexican nation , along with the flag and the national anthem.
The coat of arms of the United Mexican States, as it is officially known, is inspired by the legend of the founding of Mexico City-Tenochtitlán in a mythical past.
According to Aztec mythology, the god Huitzilopochtli would have prophesied to the Mexica that they should settle at the site where they found an eagle perched on a prickly pear, devouring a snake, since there they would achieve wealth and power.
The Mexicas, who had been moving south for hundreds of years, upon arriving in the Valley of Mexico, sighted the sign prophesied on an islet in Lake Texcoco, and there they founded the city that was to be transformed into present-day Mexico City. , Mexico’s capital.
The current design of the shield, which is the work of the artist Francisco Eppens Helguera, has been in use since 1968, and its use is regulated by the Ministry of the Interior, in accordance with the provisions of the Law on the shield, the flag and the national anthem.
The coat of arms of Mexico is used on the flag, as well as on official coins, medals, stamps or paper. On the flag, the shield is located in the center of the white stripe.
Elements of the coat of arms of Mexico
On the shield is an eagle seen in profile devouring a snake, standing on a prickly pear cactus . The scene is framed by a semicircle that surrounds the lower part of the scene, consisting of an oak branch and a laurel branch, linked by a ribbon that contains the patriotic tricolor.
The eagle and the snake
The golden eagle, typical of North America, symbolizes the seasoned character of the Mexican, the cosmic force, the light, the good. It was the representation of the god Huitzilopochtli for the Mexicas.
The snake, for its part, represents evil, darkness, the enemy of the Mexican nation. It is dominated by the eagle. Hence, its appearance has been a sign of good omen: it is the place where good triumphs over evil.
The nopal is represented with five stalks and three fruits with flowers. It is a representative plant of the Mexican geography.
The islet on the water would come to represent the emerged lands of the Texcoco lake (almost disappeared today), where the nopal is born. It symbolizes the indigenous root of the Mexican nation.
Laurel and oak branches
The laurel and oak branches are of European origin. The laurel, which is behind the eagle, is represented with three pairs of fruits and four sections of leaves.
The oak, meanwhile, is in front of the bird, has four leaves and three pairs of fruits. They are a symbol of the victories in battles of the Mexicans.