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Santa Fe, New Mexico (U.S.)

Sante Fe County

Last modified: 2018-08-02 by rick wyatt
Keywords: santa fe | new mexico | santa fe county |
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[Flag of Santa Fe, New Mexico] 2:3 image(s) by permission of David B. Martucci
image(s) from American City Flags, Raven 9-10 (2002-2003), courtesy of the North American Vexillological Association, which retains copyright.



See also:


Current Flag

Text and image(s) from American City Flags, Raven 9-10 (2002-2003), courtesy of the North American Vexillological Association, which retains copyright. Image(s) from American City Flags by permission of David B. Martucci.

Design

The field of Santa Fe’s flag is yellow with the city’s seal in its center. The seal consists of a narrow blue circle around a white field. Immediately within this circle, running clockwise around the seal from its base is the complete name of the city in Spanish, in a Flat Brush-type font: La Villa Real de la Santa Fé de San Francisco de Asís. Within the circle of lettering is a heraldic “American” shield divided so that the top portion bears on its fly half the principal charge of the arms of Mexico (in a 19th-century version): an eagle with a serpent in its beak perched on a nopal cactus, all in a blue silhouette on white. The hoist half shows a portion of the arms of Spain, a yellow turreted castle in silhouette on a red field on the hoist side, and a silhouetted upright red lion, on the fly side. The lower part of the shield is the modified American blazon, 13 white five-pointed stars (staggered 7 above and 6 below) on dark blue, over 13 vertical stripes (7 red, 6 white). Below the shield is a white heraldic ribbon, edged in blue and folded in thirds. On the three sections appear, in blue: 1610 at the hoist, 1846 in the center, and 1821 at the fly. Emanating from behind the shield in a circle are 85 short gold rays, appearing to be scalloped, since every fifth ray is longer. Several rays are hidden by the shield’s upper corners and the center portion of the heraldic ribbon.
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

Symbolism

The complete name of the city in English is “The Royal Town of the Holy Faith of Saint Francis of Assisi”. The emblems on the shield represent the nations that have had sovereignty over Santa Fe, with their initial date of control on the heraldic ribbon: Spain, 1610; Mexico, 1821; and United States, 1846. Spanish settlers named the town for St. Francis and chose him as its patron saint. Over time the name shortened to simply “Santa Fe”.
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

Selection

Ralph Emerson Twitchell, at the time a former mayor of the city, proposed the design to the city council on the date of its adoption. On 19 March 1915 his design had been adopted as the first official state flag of New Mexico.
Flag adopted: 20 September 1915 (official).
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

Designer

Not specified; presumably former Mayor Twitchell.
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

More about the Flag

[Flag of Santa Fe, New Mexico] 2:3 image(s) by permission of David B. Martucci
image(s) from American City Flags, Raven 9-10 (2002-2003), courtesy of the North American Vexillological Association, which retains copyright.

The current version of the flag in use differs from that specified in the ordinance of adoption: it now uses a field of white instead of gold. The city’s seal according to that ordinance consists only of the shield and heraldic ribbon and is termed a “heraldic seal”. The ordinance further specifies that on the front side of the flag shall be delineated in painting, printing, or embroidery an ideal representation or portrait of St. Francis of Assisi with the legend, in crimson: SAN FRANCISCO DE ASSISI … It is not known if such a flag was ever manufactured, but the current version has only the city’s seal on both sides, a much less expensive rendering than would be the case with a double-sided flag. Moreover, the ordinance stipulates 1606 as the date of the city’s founding by Don Juan de Oñate, the first Spanish governor-general of New Mexico. Historians now generally accept that the city was founded in 1610 when his successor, Don Pedro de Peralta, moved his capital to the site of today’s city. The illustration accompanying the ordinance shows the date on the fly third of the ribbon as 1822, but it is correctly 1821 in the text of the ordinance. Also, the Mexican emblem is shown in its original colors of brown (for the eagle) and green (for the serpent and nopal ).
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003


Former Flag

[Flag of Santa Fe, New Mexico] 2:3 image(s) by permission of David B. Martucci
image(s) from American City Flags, Raven 9-10 (2002-2003), courtesy of the North American Vexillological Association, which retains copyright.

At some time in the past several decades (the date is uncertain) the city used a flag that departed more radically from the official ordinance. That flag is double-sided, with a red field on the front and a blue field on the back. The “heraldic seal” of the ordinance is prominently displayed centered in the lower half of the field, but the Spanish arms are rendered in two colors only (white castle on red, red lion on white) and the Mexican arms show a white eagle on light blue. Centered in two lines across the top of the flag is City of over Santa Fe in red letters outlined in white on the front side and, in blue on the back. The city’s name is in letters slightly larger than “City of ”. No further information about the flag is available.
John M. Purcell, American City Flags, Raven 9-10, 2002-2003

Seal

[Arms of Santa Fe, New Mexico] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 27 May 2008

The city coat of arms (at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/mage:SantaFeNMseal.jpg and in many other locations) is filled with the U.S. coat of arms (but with stars on its chief) and a chief impaled of "Old Spain" and what I supposed to be Mexico: white with a blue eagle on wreath pattern; "Old Spain" is per pale Gules and Or a castle tower and a lion rampant counter changed. At www.santafenm.gov/PhotoView.asp?PHID=136 a very large image shows a city police sleeve patch with the city coat of arms (with red eagle instead, though).

Around the shield there's usually the wording "La Villa Real de Santa Fé de San Francisco de Asís", but on the NAVA flag image (where the long name shows in uchronic insular letters) there's a halo around the shield, and a scroll below it, with the long name around it all.

A b/w representation of the coat of arms as shown on the flag is in the official site at nm-santafe.civicplus.com/DocumentView.asp?DID=1284, a PDF entitled Agreement between the City of Santa Fe and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (and surely in many other such documents).

At www.santafenm.gov/images/favicon.ico the official website favicon shows a logo consisting of a black bend crossed over a blue counterbend below a red disc, in informal brush script style. I would not be surprised to see this on a flag, too.
António Martins-Tuválkin, 27 May 2008


 
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