Opinion: The State of New Mexico Should Honor and Live Up to the Sacredness of the Zia Symbol

Daniella Cressman

I'll be totally honest here: I had absolutely no idea what the zia sun symbol stood for until this morning. I probably should have, since I've been born and raised in New Mexico, but I just never thought about it. It turns out that the Zia symbol is actually quite sacred.

"One of the most recognizable symbols of New Mexico is the zia sun symbol. Originating with the Zia Pueblo, the symbol is sacred and holds lessons on life and the interconnectedness of everything on Earth. One of the four rays represents the four stages of life (childhood, youth, middle age and old age); however, many in Santa Fe display the zia without caring for the people it represents." —Amanda Bregel

When I read that, my heart was touched: it represents unity, harmony on earth, and the four cherished stages of life.

Unfortunately, I do not feel that the circumstances of our state mirror our flag's aspirations—or the culture the symbol came from for that matter—sufficiently.

"Seventeen percent of our children are hungry. Thirty-four percent of families lack easy access to healthy foods. Eight percent of seniors are food insecure. Forty-two percent of working families earn less than $50,000 a year as housing and living costs rise. Impoverished families do not have sufficient income to meet essential expenses." —Amanda Bregel

Honestly, we can do better than this. To be fair, some strides have already been made: free food has been served to children whose parents are low-income and cannot afford groceries, and discussions across the United States are finally being had pertaining to the injustices the Native Americans suffered at the hands of many Caucasian individuals.

That said, more still needs to be done.

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Canadian-American author writing about local politics, personal finance, & dining in Albuquerque.

Albuquerque, NM
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