My Magazine about Albuquerque
Culture: With a Native American population of 134,000 in 1990, New Mexico still ranks as an important center of Native American culture. Both the Navajo and Apache share Athabaskan origin. A large artistic community thrives in Santa Fe, and has included such people as Bruce Nauman, Richard Tuttle, John Connell and Steina Vasulka. The capital city has several art museums, including the New Mexico Museum of Art, Museum of Spanish Colonial Art, Museum of International Folk Art, Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, SITE Santa Fe and others. Colonies for artists and writers thrive, and the small city teems with art galleries. In August, the city hosts the annual Santa Fe Indian Market, which is the oldest and largest juried Native American art showcase in the world. Flore and fauna: New Mexico contains extensive habitat for many plants and animals, especially in desert areas and piñon-juniper woodlands. Creosote bush, mesquite, cacti, yucca, and desert grasses, including black gram, purple threeawn, and burro grass, cover the broad, semiarid plains of the southern portion of the state. The northern portion of the state is home to many tree species such as ponderosa pine, aspen, cottonwood, spruce, fir, and Russian olive, which is an invasive species. Native birds include the greater roadrunner. Another fauna present in New Mexico include black bears, cougars, jaguars, coyotes, porcupines, skunks, Mexican gray wolves, deer, elk, Plains bison, collared peccary, bighorn sheep, squirrels, chipmunks, pronghorns, western diamondbacks, kangaroo rats, jackrabbits, and a multitude of other birds, reptiles, and rodents. The black bear native to New Mexico, Ursus americanus amblyceps, was formally adopted as the state's official animal in 1953.
Flag: The flag of the U.S. state of New Mexico consists of a red sun symbol of the Zia on a field of yellow and was officially introduced in 1925. It was designed in 1920, to highlight the state's Native American Pueblo and Nuevo México Hispano roots. The colors evoke the flags of Habsburg Spain (the Cross of Burgundy) and the Crown of Aragon, brought by the conquistadors. It is one of four U.S. state flags not to contain the blue color. The flag of the District of Columbia also has no blue. According to a 2001 survey by the North American Filmological Association, New Mexico has the best-designed flag of any U.S. state, territory or Canadian province. History and meaning: The Daughters of the American Revolution pushed New Mexico to design a contemporary and unique flag in 1920. A contest to design the new state flag was won by Harry Meera of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Meera was an archaeologist who was familiar with the Zia Sun symbol found at Zia Pueblo on a 19th-century pot. The symbol has sacred meaning to the Zia. Four is a sacred number which symbolizes the Circle of Life: the four directions, the four times of day, the four stages of life, and the four seasons. The circle binds the four elements of four together. His winning design is the flag that the state uses today. The salutation, "I salute the flag of the State of New Mexico and the Zia symbol of perfect friendship among united cultures", is commonly recited in New Mexico public schools after the United States pledge of allegiance.