About New Mexico

State Flag

    The New Mexico State Flag is emblazoned with a red Zia Sun Symbol on a background of Spanish gold. The Zia Sun Symbol, which originated from ancient Zia pueblo, reflects the sacred number four and the spiritual beliefs of harmony among all things in the universe. The symbol consists of a circle (representing life and love, without beginning, without end) from which four straight lines radiate on four sides of the circle.
    The lines represent:
    * The four seasons: spring, summer, fall & winter
    * The four directions: north, west, south & east
    * The four segments of the day: dawn, noon, dusk and midnight.The four divisions of life: childhood, youth, adulthood and old age.
    ~ adopted March, 1925
    State Motto
    “Crescit eundo” – It grows as it goes
    State Slogan
    “Everyone is someone in New Mexico”
    Official Salute to the New Mexico Flag

    “I salute the flag of New Mexico and the Zia symbol of perfect friendship among united cultures.” Adopted March, 1963

    “Saludo la bandera del estado de Nuevo Mejico y simbolo Zia de amistad perfecta, entre culturas unidas.” – Spanish translation adopted in March, 1973

    State Poem
    “A Nuevo Mexico” was written by Luis Tafoya in 1911, a year before New Mexico became a state. ~adopted in 1991
    State Songs
    0, Fair New Mexico was written in 1917 by Flizabeth Garrett, the blind daughter of famed Sheriff Pat Garrett. Governor Washington F. Lindsey signed the legislation making 0, Fair New Mexico the official State Song in 1917. America’s most famous march com-poser and conductor, John Philip Sousa, presented Governor A.T. Hannett an arrangement of the state song in 1928.
    Así Es Nuevo Mexico, written by contemporary composer Amadeo Lucero, was sung with guitar accompaniment to the 1971 State Legislature by Lieutenant Governor Roberto Mon-dragon and promptly adopted as the Spanish-language version of the state song
    State Flower
    The Yucca (Yucca glauca)
    Is a member of the lily family, and symbolizes sturdiness and beauty.  New Mexicans have long used the yucca roots for many herbal remedies.
    ~adopted March, 1927
    State Tree
    The Pinon tree (Pinus edulis)
    Is a sturdy, slow-growing little evergreen which flourished over a vast area of the state.  Pinon nuts are loved by New Mexicans.
    ~adopted March, 1949
    State Grass
    The Blue Grama (Bouteloua gracilis)
    Is found in all areas of New Mexico, but especially in sands, barns, bottomland and mountain grasslands.
    State Bird
    Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus)
    The Chaparral Bird, El Correcaminos in Spanish, was named Roadrunner by pioneers who watched it race along wagon ruts.  The bird can fly in a soaring weep, but more often skims along the ground at speeds of up to 20 miles per hour.
    ~adopted March, 1949
    State Fish
    The Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout (Onchorhynchus clarki virginalis)
    Is so named because of the dark, red streaks under its throat and is native to northern New Mexico’s streams and lakes.
    State Animal
    The Black Bear (Ursus americanus)
    The North American black bear is the most widespread of North American bears.  It is of medium size among bears, averaging 135 to 350 pounds, although individuals over 600 pounds have been found.  Adult black bears, standing slightly over three feet at the shoulders, have a predominately black coat which is smooth and short haired, compared to the brown bears.
    Smokey the Bear, probably the most famous Black Bear in United States history, was found cowering in a tree after a forest fire destroyed many acres of timber in the Lincoln National Forest near Capitan.  Smokey continues to be a symbol of fire prevention across the country.
    ~adopted February, 1963
    State Insect
    The Tarantula Hawk Wasp (Pepsis formosa)

    Is found in New Mexico and other Southwestern states.
    ~adopted in 1989
    State Reptile
    New Mexico Whiptail Lizard (Cnemidophorus neomexicanus)
    Whiptail lizards are hyperactive and constantly in motion.  Whiptails dash across the ground from shrub to shrub – often running upright on their hind legs like miniature dinosaurs.  They forage ceaselessly for termites and other ground-dwelling insects and spiders, swiveling their head rapidly from side to side, sniffing the air with their slender, forked tongue, and probing under surface debris with their pointed snout.
    State Amphibian

    New Mexico Spadefoot Toad (Spea multiplicata)

    The New Mexico Spadefoot Toad is most often found in floodplains, washes and other lowland habitats, especially where the soil is loose enough for burrowing and deep enough to avoid freezing temperatures.  They may make limited use of pinyon-juniper, but mostly occur in non-forested areas.  They are active at night.
    State Butterfly
    Sandia Hairstreak (Callophrys mcfarlandi)

    Tailless.  Upperside of male is brown; female is reddish brown with a narrow balck border.  Underside yellow-green; white postmedian line bordered with black toward the wing base

    State Vegetables
    New Mexico has two state vegetables because chile and beans are almost inseparable in that diet.

    ~adopted in 1965
    Chile – Red or Green? New Mexico grows a variety of different types of chile peppers.  The most popular is the habenaro chile pepper.  Green chile is picked before the pepper is fully matured; it is then roasted and peeled.  Red chile is a fully matured habenaro pepper, they are hung in a ristra and left to dry.  The pods are later ground up into chile powder to make red chile.
    Beans are an essential ingredient in most New Mexican food.  Aslo known as the musical fruit.
    State Cookie
    The biscochito is a small anise-flavored cookie brought to New Mexico by the early Spaniards and used during special celebrations, the Christmas season and high holy days.
    ~adopted in 1989.
    State Gem
    Turquoise is the only phosphate considered a precious stone.  Turquoise set in silver is a big industry in New Mexico.  Beautiful and authentic pieces many be purchased throughout the state and even farther.
    ~adopted March 23, 1967
    State Fossil (Coelophysis)
    Reaching no more than six feet in length, a coelophysis was so lightly built that it weighed about 50 pounds.  An expedition of paleontologists discovered a remarkable example of the Coelophysis near Ghost Ranch north of Santa Fe in 1947.
    ~adopted March, 1981