Last updateFri, 15 Mar 2019 3pm

February 24: Honoring Mexico’s flag

Homages to the Mexican flag will be paid across the length and breadth of the nation on Saturday, February 24 – Dia de la Bandera.

pg5bCeremonies in the Plaza de la Liberacion in downtown Guadalajara start at 8 a.m., featuring students selected by their schools for their high academic grades.

The concept of fixing a special date to honor the flag arose in early 1930s at the suggestion of a Mexican Army officer, but the idea didn’t catch on right away. It was Mexico City bank employee Ricardo Benito Ramirez Spindola who inadvertently set the wheels in motion on February 24, 1935,  when he set up a flag display on the doorstep of his home, and in the company of some work companions, mounted a color guard to mark the anniversary of the Plan de Iguala.

The commemoration was repeated with more fanfare the following year, and by 1937 turned into a full-fledged public celebration held at the foot of a statue of Independence hero Vicente Guerrero. Día de la Bandera was declared an official national holiday in 1940.

The proper manner in which citizens are to salute the flag during public ceremonies is to stand at attention with their right hands held horizontally, palm down, over the heart. Men are expected to remove their hats.

Article 32 refers to private use of the flag, noting that citizens should always handle it with care and due respect. According to current popular wisdom, using the flag as a hood ornament rates as a sign of patriotism. However — contrary to common practice in the United States — turning the national banner into any kind of personal apparel is considered a crass sign of disrespect.

Article 18 of the Ley Sobre el Escudo, La Bandera and el Himno Nacionales lists 28 specific dates on which the flag must be flown at full staff and 11 dates when it is displayed at half-mast to honor fallen national heroes.

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