At the heart of symbolism

The Mexican flag

(Detailed page)


Mexican flag

The colours of the flag

Beyond contingent explanations, the colours of the flag have a penetrating signification 1, which reinforces the meaning of the coat of arms located in the flag centre:

  • Green symbolizes Hope, the deep Aspiration to return to the unity of the being, who is torn between his different contradictory aspirations and to the union of the beings gathered under the same banner.
  • White depicts Faith of the beings ready to undertake this return voyage, the total abandonment to the divine powers symbolizing unity and the trust without limits in Gods and oneself.
  • Red means divine Love, the Love that supports us alongside the way towards the deep reality of our nature in which we are only one.

The coat of arms

For several Central America peoples, the shape of the sacred barbary fig (“peyotl” or “hicouri”) symbolizes the “World Egg”. An eagle holding a serpent in its beak is emerging from it.

The eagle holding a serpent in its beakThe fight between the eagle and serpent can be found in many traditions. In the Indian tradition for instance, the mythical bird Garuda, an eagle originally, is often represented as fighting Naga. Elsewhere, it is replaced by other serpent destructor birds such as the ibis, the stork or the heron. The eagle and its enemy symbolize the opposition between Heaven and Earth, between the angel representing the superior states and the demon assimilated to the inferior states, between the celestial and the infernal world. No wonder that one of the principal symbols of the Egyptian God Toth, the ibis destructor of reptiles, became a symbol of the Christ.

Quetzalcoatl, symbol of the union of oppositesNevertheless, this image of the eagle holding a serpent in its beak does not evoke exclusively the antagonism idea between the worlds above and below. The serpent, out of which mouth comes the “World Egg”, also symbolizes the Word, the word of the union of Heaven and Earth depicted by the great God of the Mexican pantheon, “Quetzalcoatl”, the “plumed serpent” consisting of a bird (quetzal) and a serpent (coatl).

The union of Heaven and Earth can also be found in the wings and both serpents of the Caduceus where the latter symbolize the ascending and descending ways between Heaven and Earth. It is the attribute of Hermes, the Messenger between the celestial and terrestrial worlds and Greek counterpart of the Egyptian God Toth.

All these different Gods symbolize the primeval state preceding the Heaven/Earth polarization and our antagonist perception of two worlds making only one in reality. These parallels between various traditions have only one goal: to show their deep unity as regards the message they are transmitting.

The Heaven and Earth polarization is at the basis of the manifestation. No being, no thing could exist without it. As a result of the world unity, the being can only return to this primeval state and rediscover the lost unity.

The polarization constitutes the necessary sacrifice on the way towards manifestation, which means disintegration. It is up to us to go against the current and rediscover the state of union that all traditions are talking about. The re-integrated being may then either remain in the non-manifested or return to the manifested world, offering his sacrifice to all of us.

The coat of arms of the Mexican flag reminds us that if the fight is a necessary step of existence to become conscious of the world reality, it could not be its goal, which is consisting of the union of the beings and above all, of the being within himself.


  • René Guénon:
  • “Symbols of Sacred Science”, Sophia Perennis Publisher 2004;
  • Notably chapter 7 devoted to the language of the birds.
  • “Traditional Forms and Cosmic Cycles”. Lightning Source Inc Publisher 2003;
  • In particular, the chapter on Hermes.
  • D.H. Lawrence:
  • “The plumed serpent”. Vintage Publisher 1992.
  • Jacques Soustelle:
  • “The Four Suns”. Grossman Publisher 1970.

1 back The colours of the Mexican flag are very similar to the colours of the Italian flag, which are closely linked to the colours of the theological virtues.