We began to wonder the other day just exactly what this symbol on the flag of New Mexico stands for. As is often the case, there is a story behind the emblem which is interesting.
One thing leads to another and I became immersed in the history of this state.
As you may or may not know, New Mexico was settled first by Native peoples, mostly Navajo, Apache and Ute. It was claimed as part of the Spanish Empire. It was not named New Mexico after the country of Mexico, but by early Spanish Conquistadors who, coming north from Mexica (the Aztec Empire) thought to find gold there, and called it such meaning the New Aztec Empire. This was back in 1563, long before the English had entered upon the Eastern Coast of North America
Later, it was claimed by the new country of Mexico, in the 1860’s, then a US territory, and finally a state in 1912.
Our state has the highest percentage of Hispanics of any state in the Union, and the second highest native population.
All of this bears intimately on our flag.
The colors red and yellow are in honor of Queen Isabella of Castile, the colors brought to this continent by the conquistadors. The symbol in the center is a sun symbol, and relates to the Zia pueblo where such insignias were found on pottery by archeologists.
It’s rays reaching out in four directions refer to the four directions on the compass, the four seasons of the year, by the four divisions of the 24-hour day, sunrise, noon, evening, night, and in the four seasons of life, childhood, youth, adulthood and old age.
The Zia believed that life contained four obligations:
- The development of a strong body,
- The development of a strong mind.
- The development of a pure spirit.
- The devotion to family and people.
The pledge to the flag of New Mexico is telling of how we are as a people here:
“I salute the flag of the state of New Mexico, the Zia symbol of perfect friendship among united cultures.”
“Saludo la bandera del estado de Nuevo Mejico, el simbolo zia de amistad perfecta, entre culturas unidas.”
You see, of all of the American Southwest, only New Mexico was not found to be “valuable” from an Anglo point of view. Thus New Mexico escaped much of the animosity and warring that occurred as Anglos sought to take away lands from Hispanics who had held these lands for generations in places like California, Arizona and Texas.
We have always been a place where a melding of cultures has been accepted as being right and proper. While not officially bilingual, the state did adopt the English Plus approach which encourages the teaching of other languages. A Navajo textbook is used in the state. Jurors are not disqualified by speaking Spanish only.
While border problems have not been unknown historically, it is seldom if never that one reads of any problem in the local Las Cruces newspaper or hears about problems on the local news. Being only 40 miles from the border, surely we would be hearing about it if such issues were occurring regularly.
Given that the two cultures are so incredibly intertwined and have been for ever, I think the average New Mexican looks upon all the craziness of places like Alabama and Iowa and their screaming about “border security” with a bit of bemusement and no little anger.
Well, enough of that. This is not a history lesson on the State of New Mexico. It’s just interesting to see how one similarly-placed state sees the whole issue of amnesty and immigration in an entirely different way than do significant portions of the Republican party at least.
I’d sure like to hear about interesting factoids about your state or country. Please do tell.
On the other hand, we’ve decided we are through with most media news. We started with ABC, gave up in disgust, went to NBC, then CBS and then remained with PBS. Now we are through with it too. For some reason journalists think their job is to “give both sides” and leave it at that. No investigation as to undeniable facts, no push back on broad but unsupported allegations, just a nod and on to the next question on the list.
The trouble is, we are living in a time of stark differences. There are not often “two sides” rather there is a side supported by evidence and a side supported by wishful thinking. Some of this permeates both sides of the spectrum of left-right, but more often than not, the wild-eyed incredulous nonsense emanates from one side only.
Fox has successfully ranted about the “liberal” media (which is not supported by facts) and the mainstream media has out of fear of the label, decided the best course is to simply let both sides spout as they wish. Yes the mainstream media is probably composed of more liberals than conservatives, but it remains the case that the overarching ownership of most mainstream media remains in corporate hands who by and large are essentially conservative. The fact is that the journalism (if you can call it that) is not at liberty to do as they wish, but are supervised by larger corporate interests.
So the mainstream has caved to a charge not born out, and is essentially worthless in my opinion. To the vast majority of citizens, giving them both sides is akin to giving them nothing at all. They are not, like myself and those who are passionate, going to investigate and research to find if one side is vastly better in truth-telling than the other. So they do whatever they do in choosing between what they see as two equal sides. This is what you hear when people claim that the “entire Congress” is useless. They see both sides the same.
So, we have moved to BBC-America, which gives no more than one item on the US and the rest international. Since we don’t get Al Jazeerra in our cable package, this is the best we can do. Frankly both the Contrarian and I read all the national news over the Internet already, so we aren’t missing much.
Oh, and if anybody has forsworn cable in favor of other options, Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, please do tell. We lost ABC for 3 weeks over some dispute, picked up our favorite shows online, and with a cable moved them to our TV, so we got the idea we might be able to find almost all of what we watch and save a bundle. Most prices for non-cable are around $80 a year vs. $80/month for a barebones cable package. Weigh in on any info you can offer please.
That’s it for me today. Happy Boo day.
I crossed over that bridge expanding the gorge just outside of Taos on my round about trip to Colorado with my family in 2000 after spending a few days in Red River. It is the closest thing I have seen to a Grand Canyon experience and is every bit as awesome as the Royal Gorge a few miles west of Canon City, CO.
I think my phone and broadband is from a local cable outfit. I dropped the TV portion when it occurred to me that whenever/whatever I watched was a major waste of time. When I’m in the mood, I pick up NBC and MSNBC news shows online. I’m on the streaming bit of Netflix, but it’s been ages since I bothered watching anything on it (perhaps I ought to just drop it, too? But for $7 or $8 @ month, it seems OK to keep.) I find that stuff online has more than enough to keep me entertained. Then again it seems I spend quite a bit of time on photo tutorials. 😉
Gunta I understand and actually am in awe of those who can cut the ties with television. I grew up on it, which is no excuse, but for whatever reason, it is what my husband and I do every evening as our never to be interferred with together time. Sounds weird for two people who are together 24/7, but most of the day we are off doing our own thing, even when in the same house. The evening is our time and we watch a lot of stuff, at least some of it reasonably good from PBS. We watch a fair amount of crap too, and talk a lot through that…but I respect immensely those that have found a better way. 🙂 !END
Not much to be in awe of. A good part of it for me is that I’m a cheapskate and can’t see paying for something that encourages me to waste a lot of time. When I did have it (I signed on for the last Pres. election), I ended up watching a whole lot of mind-numbing crap. Think about that… you’re paying them, to turn you into a zombie or couch potato. My husband used to think of watching TV as a social activity (as you seemed to describe). Not something I could do unless I had something else going (knitting, reading or washing dishes.) The only thing I actually miss is a bit of local news and weather, but when they raised the monthly fee is when I figured it was not worth it.
I do get where you come from gunta. I spend a good part of my day reading online, as well as other projects. I’m also a never to be suppressed student. So the evening is really a time to relax and not think so much. I would love to eliminate the high fees for cable, given that we don’t watch all that many channels. I’m not having much luck finding anybody who has made this turn to HULU or Netflix though so we may just try the one week free trial and see how it goes. It’s remarkably easy to hook the computer to the TV and watch anything, so the cheapskate in me is very much woken up! lol..!END I wou
We’re locked into a two year deal with Direct TV, and our price will double next year. But, I won’t miss an exciting episode of Honey Boo Boo.
hahah, I hear that. Can’t convince the Contrarian to try that one I’m afraid. !END
ha… funny thing… I was doing research, too. see, originally, this was called ‘New Wisconsin’….it was a mistake,see, cause it was a literal translation of a Ojibwa phrase that really meant, “you ain’t in Michigan no more’ … after awhile the New part was dropped. Now it is just plain Old Wisconsin. Old Wisconsin is a literal translation from a rare Minnesotan dialect…. it means…. ‘place where we can’t win a football game.’ boy, I sure do know interesting stuff, huh?
ROFL…gods that game was just awful last night…How could they do this! !END