New Mexico . . . State 47

New Mexico's flag has a yellow field and the red symbol which are the colors of Spain. First brought to New Mexico by Spanish explorers in 1540. On New Mexico's flag we see a red sun with rays stretching out from it. There are four groups of rays with four rays in each group. This is an ancient sun symbol of a Native American people called the Zia. The Zia believed that the giver of all good gave them gifts in groups of four. These gifts are:

The four directions - north, east, south and west.
The four seasons - spring, summer, fall and winter.
The day - sunrise, noon, evening and night.
Life itself - childhood, youth, middle years and old age.
All of these are bound by a circle of life and love, without a beginning or end.

New Mexico became a state on January 6, 1912 as the 47th state. New Mexico is known as the "Land of Enchantment." The capital city is Santa Fe. Bordering States: New Mexico borders Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Utah, and Arizona. Most of the people live near the Río Grande, Pecos, and San Juan rivers. Albuquerque is located on the Río Grande. More than one-third of the state’s total population lives in the Albuquerque metropolitan area.

New Mexico is one of the Mountain states, located in the southwestern United States. It is a land of plains, plateaus, and mountains. New Mexico is known for the great variety and magnificent colors of its scenery. Tourists, attracted not only by the scenic beauty of New Mexico’s deserts and mountains but also by the rich Native American and Spanish cultures that distinguish the state and are an important part of the state’s economy. The many national and state recreation areas, beautiful scenery, Spanish colonial heritage, and renowned art galleries draw thousands of visitors to New Mexico every year. Four natural regions make up the New Mexican landscape: the southernmost portion of the Southern Rocky Mountains, part of the Colorado Plateau, part of the Basin and Range province, and part of the Great Plains.

Despite its generally dry climate, agriculture in New Mexico is an important economic activity. Ranching and commercial farming are the chief sources of income for the state.

Major Industries: Energy, Nuclear, Solar and Geothermal Research and Development; Uranium and Potassium Salts; Food Products, Livestock and Pecans; Chemicals; Transportation Equipment; Cotton; Lumber and Stone; Clay and Glass Products.

The climate of New Mexico is mild, sunny, and dry. New Mexico has a great variation in climate from lower to higher elevations. Summers are hot in low elevations and the average July high temperature is in the mid 90's and the higher elevations in the high 70s. July and August are the rainy months with afternoon thunderstorms. Summer nights in the desert are cool and in the mid 50-60s Winters are cold and highs in the mid 50's in the lower elevations and low 30's in the mountains. The higher elevations are the popular ski resort and the northern mountains can receive 100 in of snow annually.

New Mexico has 33 counties:
Bernalillo - Catron - Chaves - Cibola - Colfax - Curry - De Baca - Dona Ana - Eddy - Grant - Guadalupe - Harding - Hidalgo - Lea - Lincoln - Los Alamos - Luna - McKinley - Mora - Otero - Quay - Rio Arriba - Roosevelt - Sandoval - San Juan - San Miguel - Santa Fe - Sierra - Socorro - Taos - Torrance - Union - Valencia

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