The colors on New Mexico's state flag are the red and yellow of old Spain. The simple, elegant center design is the ancient Zia sun symbol, which represents the unique character of New Mexico.
Four is the sacred number of the Zia and is seen repeated in the four points radiating from the circle, each consisting of four bars. To the Zia Indians, the number four represents:
- the four points of the compass (east, west, north, and south);
- the four seasons of the year (spring, summer, autumn, and winter);
- the four periods of each day (morning, noon, evening, and night);
- the four seasons of life (childhood, youth, middle years, and old age);
- the Zia's belief that with life comes four sacred obligations: one must develop a strong body, a clear mind, a pure spirit, and a devotion to the welfare of others.