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New Mexico Society of the Sons of the American Revolution

THE purposes of the National Society, Sons of the American Revolution are patriotic, historical and educational.  Its object is to perpetuate the memory of individuals who, by their services or sacrifices during the war of the American Revolution, achieved the independence of the American people.

WE welcome you to the web site of the New Mexico Society, Sons of the American Revolution.  The Compatriots of the NMSSAR invite you to join our ranks as we strive to keep patriotism and the memory of our Revolutionary War heritage burning in the hearts and minds of every American, young and old.

THE NMSSAR sponsors events throughout the year, including: oratory and essay contests for young people; awards programs honoring Eagle Scouts, ROTC members and educators, law enforcement and fire safety personnel, and veterans and service personnel; and, ceremonies honoring our flag and the patriots of the Revolution.

Descendants (Anglo, Spanish American, or any other ethnicity) of the men who fought in the Revolution and/or supported the Revolution are welcome to join the Sons of the American Revolution here in New Mexico.  We have about 100 members in the state and our chapters are open to all who can qualify.  Note:  Female descendants of those individuals are eligible to join our sister organization, the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).

Although not commonly known, Spain and NEW MEXICO were involved in the American Revolutionary War.   Consequently the present king of Spain and his son are members of the SAR, as well as the descendants of Lafayette in France and those of Bernardo de Galvez of Spain who captured Pensacola, Florida from the British on May 9, 1781, and for whom Galveston Bay and Galveston, Texas are named.

In March of 1780 Carlos III of Spain decreed that “his vassals in America contribute a one-time donation of one peso ($30.00 in present value) per Indian and other castes and two pesos ($60.00) for each Spaniard and noble, to sustain the present war,”  Spain had declared war on Great Britain in 1779 in support of the war for American independence from Britain following extensive covert assistance as early as 1777.  In early August, 1780, the commandant of the Internal Provinces of northern New Spain, Teodoro Cavellero De Croix, advised the governor of New Mexico, Juan Bautista de Anza, to begin collecting the tax.  The soldiers at the several Presidios in New Mexico (and other Presidios in California, Texas and Arizona) supported the Revolution by giving up one Peso of their pay, it is alleged to fund the refitting of the French fleet that lay at anchor at Cuba’s port.  The French fleet sailed to block the English fleet at Yorktown and held the English fleet at bay resulting in Cornwallis’s surrender at Yorktown.  Without the Spanish support the battle of Yorktown may well have not been the great victory that it was.  After the war it was officially reported that 3,677 pesos ($110,000 present value) from New Mexico had been collected.  (We have a member who could document that his ancestor paid that tax and thereby supported our Revolution.) (Our
Spaniard Membership page can direct you to a list of those tax payers, as well as information on how to join via Spanish lineage)


New Mexico Flag

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 (the Zia sun symbol also appears on New Mexico's state quarter).

The Zia Indians of New Mexico regard the Sun as sacred. Their symbol for the sun (a red circle with groups of rays pointing in four directions) is painted on ceremonial vases, drawn on the ground around campfires, and used to introduce newborns to the Sun.

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.

In 1920, the Daughters of the American Revolution, who had been quite involved with the official state flag designations in other states, suggested that a new design be adopted that was more representative of the unique character of New Mexico. This idea had many supporters and, as had been done in other states, a design competition was launched. The winner was Dr. Harry Mera, a Santa Fe physician and archeologist. The flag was constructed by Dr. Mera's wife, Reba. 

The simple and meaningful design features an interpretation of an ancient symbol of the sun as found on a late 19th century water jar from Zia Pueblo. This red symbol is called a "Zia" and is centered on a field of yellow.