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Bernalillo County, New Mexico (U.S.)

Last modified: 2023-11-11 by rick wyatt
Keywords: bernalillo | new mexico |
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[Flag of Bernalillo County, New Mexico] image by Rob Raeside, 27 June 2012

Known Flag - indicates flag is known.
No Known Flag - indicates it is reported that there is no known flag.

Municipal flags in Bernalillo County:

See also:

Description of the flag

The original Bernalillo county flag is white with the county seal in the centre.
Jens Pattke, 11 February 2007

This scan of a drawing I saw (likely in FlagsAm, a publication of the Canadian Vexillological Assn) will give an idea of the flag and the colors of the seal.
Albert S. Kirsch, 11 February 2007

Detail of seal

[Flag of Bernalillo County, New Mexico] image provided by Amanda Colburn, 26 June 2012

The seal shows a stylized landscape with light blue sky over dark blue mountains and eight sheep in foreground, white on dark green background, in two rows (5+3). A dark green rim with "Bernalillo County" above and "State of New Mexico" below, set in copper capitals. All elements edged in copper. Sun shaped in Zia-style, like in the state flag.
Jens Pattke, 5 April 2007

The seal displays eight sheep, representing eight original Spanish/Mexican land grants in Bernalillo County, which are: Pajarito, Alameda, San Pedro, Elena Gallegos, Lo de Padilla, Antonio Sedillo, Atrisco, and Chilili. Sheep-raising was the primary industry in colonial Bernalillo County. The four mountains in the background represent the Sandias and the Manzanos. In the background is also the Zia sun symbol.
Daniel Rentería, 18 October 2023

Former flag

According to a digitized article by the Albuquerque Journal, the idea for a county flag was first proposed on July 1975 by County Clerk Emma Gonzales. She recommended that the county flag would be sold at the clerk's office as part of a bicentennial project. She had no ideas for what this flag would look like, but did see the possibility of it having the county seal on it. I am not entirely sure of an exact date, but likely before the end of the bicentennial year this first flag was adopted. The flag legally changed when, on January 31, 1986, the new seal had to be rolled out (though the actual process took probably another year).

I would like to note that I was informed that the County Clerk's office has a county flag dated 1706 to 1976 (not too sure what kind of county flag this could be though, since Bernalillo wasn't even organized until 1852).
Daniel Rentería, 18 October 2023

Former seal

[Flag of Bernalillo County, New Mexico] image by Jean-Marc Merklin, 19 October 2023

The first seal seems to have been used since at least 1925 and featured a Christian cross, symbolizing the Catholic traditions of the area. It is described that this seal had the motto “con esta vencemos”, meaning “with this we overcome” as well, going across the upper half of the seal. However, the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico threatened to sue to have both the motto and cross removed in August 1980. They wanted the motto removed because they believed the object of "with this we overcome" could only be the cross, not anything else in the seal or the seal itself. As for the cross, it was because they believed it to be an infringement of the "separation of church and state". Al Friedman filed a lawsuit with assistance from the union. A district judge ruled against him. However, on December 26, 1985, the 10th U.S. Circuit of Appeals ruled against Bernalillo County’s commissioners in an appeal, the Supreme Court refusing review. And so Bernalillo adopted its new seal shortly after.
Daniel Rentería, 18 October 2023