Italian Flag vs Mexican Flag: Similarities and Key Differences

Italian Flag vs Mexican Flag: do you know what are the differences? Let’s find out in this post!

The flags of Italy and Mexico are so similar that people often confuse the two.

If you’re one of those people, stick around and, by the end of this article, you’ll be an expert on telling the Italian flag vs Mexican flag apart.

There’s also quite a bit of interesting history and meaning behind both flags, which I’ll explain in detail.

Italian Flag vs Mexican Flag: Colors and Ratios

🎨 Italian Flag vs Mexican Flag: The difference in The Flag Colors

The two flags might look identical at first glance, but even their colors are different. The Mexican flag uses a slightly darker shade of green and red.

The difference between the Italian Flag vs Mexican Flag becomes quite apparent when you put them side to side.

Italian flag and Mexican flag side by side
Italian flag and Mexican flag

📏 Italian Flag vs Mexican Flag: Difference in The Flag Ratios

The two flags are also different in size. While both flags are rectangular, the Italian flag is a slightly more square-ish rectangle compared to the Mexican flag.

In terms of exact ratios, the Mexican flag has a ratio of 4:7, meaning the width of the flag is 4 units and the length is 7 units.

The Italian flag, on the other hand, has a ratio of 2:3, which means the width of the flag is 2 units and the length is 3 units.

Italian vs Mexican Flag: Symbolic Meaning

🇮🇹 Meaning of the Italian Flag Colors

So you know that the colors are different between the Italian Flag vs Mexican Flag. Now, let’s go over what those colors symbolize.

The green in the Mexican flag used to represent independence, but now symbolizes hope.

White also originally stood for Catholicism, but now represents unity.

And lastly, red represents the blood of the Mexican people who fought for Mexican independence from 1810 to 1821.

🛡️ Meaning of the Mexican Flag Colors and Coat of Arms

The Italian flag, also commonly known as Il Tricolore, also displays three horizontal stripes of green, white, and red.

However, the symbolism behind the Italian colors is not quite as clear. There are three popular theories as to the meaning of the Italian flag’s colors. 

The first theory suggests that they represent idealistic concepts. Green symbolizes freedom, white represents purity and faith, and red symbolizes love. 

Another theory proposes that the colors hold religious significance. The three theological virtues are: green for hope, white for faith, and red for charity. 

The last theory associates the colors with Italy’s geography and history.

Green represents the countryside, white symbolizes the snow-capped Alps, and red represents the sacrifices of the Italian people throughout their history.

Which one is the correct set of meanings? You get to decide.

Italian Flag vs Mexican Flag: Stories Behind their Designs

📖 History of the Italian Flag

Il Tricolore, featuring three colors green, white and red, became the national flag in the Italian city of Reggio Emilia on January 7th, 1797.

The adoption of the tricolor was inspired by the French tricolor flag of 1790.

It was used by several Jacobin republics that were established after the Napoleonic army swept through Italy. 

The green color was adopted from the uniforms of Milan’s Civic Guard, and the white and red were taken from the municipal coat of arms of Milan. 

During the unification of Italy from 1815 to 1871, also known as the Risorgimento, the tricolor flag became a symbol of hope and independence.

It inspired poets and was hoisted during rebellions and uprisings. 

After the unification, the Kingdom of Italy was established in 1861 and had a tricolor flag.

At this point, the flag was far from standard, with many regional variations. It wasn’t until 1925 that the design of the national and state flags was legally defined. 

Following the establishment of the Republic after WW2, the tricolor flag was officially adopted through a presidential decree in 1946.

The following year, it was confirmed by the Constituent Assembly and then included in the Constitution Charter.

Bologna view from the tower
Bologna Overview from the tower

📖 History of the Mexican Flag

The Mexican flag is a symbol of Mexican identity and history.

It features a striking central emblem – a Golden Eagle perched on a prickly pear cactus, holding a snake in its beak and talons.

This imagery stems from an Aztec legend in which the gods told the Aztecs to build their city where they saw an eagle on a cactus eating a serpent.

They found the promised eagle in the spot that is now Mexico City’s main plaza. Back then, however, they named it Tenochtitlan.

Mexico saw many different versions of its flag during its struggle for independence.

But when the nation finally achieved its independence in 1821, a tricolor of green-white-red was established as the official flag.

According to various sources, this design was inspired by the French tricolor flag, with the colors being changed to reflect Mexican values.

At the time, the colors symbolized independence (green), Roman Catholicism (white), and union (red), representing the “Three Guarantees” of the Iguala Plan.

This political compromise allowed Mexico to gain independence from Spain while preserving the supremacy of Catholicism and the social system where privileged Creoles ruled over those of mixed ethnicity and the Indian majority.

The central emblem on the tricolor displays the foundation myth of the ancient Aztec empire.

It depicts the scene that the Indian founders of Tenochtitlán saw in 1325 – an eagle with a snake in its beak standing on a cactus growing out of rocks in the middle of the water. 

Bellas artes front picture
Mexico City’s historical center

Throughout its history, Mexico’s flag has undergone multiple modifications, with each change reflecting the nation’s shifting political ideologies.

During the periods of 1821 to 1823 and 1864 to 1867, when Mexico was an empire, the golden eagle on the flag was depicted with a crown.

The current design of the flag’s central emblem features an intricately crafted wreath of oak leaves and laurel branches, bound together with a ribbon in the country’s national green-white-red colors.

This emblem serves as a symbol of Mexico’s national identity and its rich cultural heritage. It was officially established on September 17, 1968.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Italian Flag vs Mexican Flag

❓ Are the Mexican and Italian flags the same?

No, the Mexican and Italian flags are not the same.

The biggest difference between them is that the Mexican flag features a golden eagle on a cactus with a snake in its beak and talons in the center, whereas the Italian flag does not.

The green and red colors are also noticeably lighter in the Italian flag.

❓ Why is the Italian flag like the Mexican flag?

Italian and Mexican flags are so similar because they share the same ancestor.

Many historical sources posit that both were inspired by the French Tricolor.

❓ Which flag was first, Italian or Mexican?

As it was unveiled in 1797, the Italian flag was the first.

❓ Did the Mexican flag copy the Italian flag?

No. Both the Italian and Mexican flags were inspired by the French Tricolor flag.

Neither copied the other.

Both the Italians and Mexicans adopted colors that were significant to them. It just so happens that they adopted colors that are quite similar. 

❓ What does the eagle on the Mexican flag mean?

The golden eagle on the Mexican flag represents Huitzilopochtli, the Aztec god of the sun and war who was considered very important by the Mexicas, who referred to themselves as the “People of the Sun”.

The prickly pear cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica) with its fruits, called nōchtli in Nahuatl, symbolizes the island of Tenochtitlan, where the Aztec empire was founded.

The snake in the eagle’s beak and talons completes the image of the Aztec legend.

The legend has it that the gods told the Aztecs to build their city where they saw an eagle eating a serpent on a cactus.

This legend is tied to the foundation of Mexico City, which is now located in the spot where the eagle was first seen.

Italian Flag vs Mexican Flag: Conclusion

There you go, folks. Now you’ll never be confused between the Italian and Mexican flags (hopefully).

Both flags represent their respective nation’s rich histories. While they’re similar-looking, they’re both unique in their own ways and now you should be able to tell the two apart!