New Mexico

New Mexico Flag

State of New Mexico

Nicknames: The Land of Enchantment
Motto(s): Crescit eundo (It grows as it goes)
Date of Statehood: January 6, 1912 (47th state)
State Song: “O Fair New Mexico” by Elizabeth Garrett

New Mexico Flag History

The flag of New Mexico, adopted in 1925, is a symbol of the state’s Native American and Hispanic heritage. The flag’s design is simple yet profound. It consists of a red sun symbol of the Zia on a field of yellow. The colors honor the flag of Spain, one of the first European countries to explore New Mexico.

The Zia sun symbol is sacred to the Zia Pueblo people and represents the harmony of the four-fold world: four cardinal directions, four seasons of the year, four times of day, and four stages of life. The red and yellow colors also reflect New Mexico’s Spanish past, making the flag deeply representative of the state’s cultural fusion.

The New Mexico flag is unique in its simplicity and cultural significance. It doesn’t incorporate the state’s seal, unlike many other state flags, which makes it distinctive. It embodies the state’s rich Indigenous and Spanish history and symbolizes the unity of different cultures under the state’s enchanting landscape.

New Mexico Quick Facts

Capital City: Santa Fe
Abbreviation: NM
Population: Approximately 2.1 million
Region: Southwest
Origin of State Name: Named by the Spanish for lands north of the Rio Grande (the upper region of the Rio Grande was called Nuevo México as early as 1563)
Sports Teams: No major professional sports teams. Notable minor league teams include the Albuquerque Isotopes (Baseball) and New Mexico United (Soccer).
Bordering States: Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, and the Mexican states of Chihuahua and Sonora
Area Codes: 505, 575
Highest Point: Wheeler Peak at 13,161 feet (4,011 meters)
Lowest Point: Red Bluff Reservoir at 2,842 feet (866 meters)

Geography of New Mexico

Area: 121,590 square miles (314,917 square kilometers), 5th largest
Land: 121,298 square miles (314,161 square kilometers), 5th largest
Water: 292 square miles (756 square kilometers), 49th largest
Coastline: None (landlocked state)
Shoreline: None (landlocked state)

Largest Cities:

  1. Albuquerque
  2. Las Cruces
  3. Rio Rancho
  4. Santa Fe
  5. Roswell
  6. Farmington
  7. South Valley
  8. Clovis
  9. Hobbs
  10. Alamogordo
  11. Carlsbad
  12. Gallup
  13. Deming
  14. Los Lunas
  15. Chaparral

National Parks:

  • Carlsbad Caverns National Park
  • White Sands National Park
  • Bandelier National Monument
  • Chaco Culture National Historical Park
  • Pecos National Historical Park

New Mexico State Symbols

Living Insignia

State Bird: Greater Roadrunner
State Animal: American Black Bear
State Amphibian: New Mexico Spadefoot Toad
State Butterfly: Sandia Hairstreak
State Fish: New Mexico Cutthroat Trout
State Flower: Yucca flower
State Horse Breed: None
State Insect: Tarantula Hawk Wasp
State Mammal: American Black Bear
State Reptile: New Mexico Whiptail

Inanimate Insignia

State Fruit: Chile pepper and Pinto bean
State Gemstone: Turquoise
State Soil: Penistaja
State Tree: Piñon Pine
State Quarter: Issued in 2008 featuring a Zia sun symbol over a topographic outline of the state with the inscription “Land of Enchantment”
State Beverage: None
State Colors: Red and yellow of old Spain
State Dance: Square Dance
State Food: Chile pepper and Pinto bean
State Fossil: Coelophysis
State Mineral: Turquoise
State Rock: None