What are the banned verses of the Mexican National Anthem?

Some verses of the anthem were banned because they allude to characters from Mexican history who were considered villains in the official version.

What are the banned verses of the Mexican National Anthem?
Exactly which lines of the Mexican national anthem are off-limits? Credit: Filosofia Mexicana

It is September, the month of the homeland and the national anthem is one of the patriotic symbols that give Mexico its identity and national pride; however, there are verses banned by the federal government and verses that are not very well known because they are not sung in schools.

The National Anthem is one of the three patriotic symbols of Mexico, along with the coat of arms and the flag, which, despite referring to war themes, is considered one of the most beautiful in the world. However, there are forbidden verses that could get you a fine if you sing them.

Since it began to be used in 1854, at the request of President Antonio López de Santa Anna, the National Anthem has had several modifications in its structure, so most Mexicans do not know its complete composition.

The original composition by Francisco González Bocanegra was composed of 10 stanzas; however, during the administration of President Manuel Ávila Camacho, a decree was issued on October 20, 1943, which established the official version of the Mexican National Anthem.

The stanzas of the National Anthem that are sung give the country its identity, they were known and used since 1854, but were officially defined until the decree published on May 4, 1943, in which the full text of this patriotic symbol was included, with its ten stanzas and refrain, but some of them were cut because they referred to Santa Anna.

The stanzas that were eliminated are IV and VII, which are dedicated to Antonio López de Santa Anna himself and the first emperor of Mexico, Agustín de Iturbide.

Little-known banned stanzas of the Mexican National Anthem

Stanza II

War! War without truce to those who attempt

to stain the coat of arms of the fatherland!

War, war! The patriotic banners

in the waves of blood soak.

War, war! On the mountain, in the valley,

the horrifying cannons thunder,

and the sonorous echoes resound

with the voices of Union! Freedom!

Stanza III

Before the fatherland, that your children, unarmed

under the yoke bend their necks,

your fields are watered with blood,

their feet are stamped in blood.

And thy temples, palaces, and towers

shall collapse with a fiery roar,

and their ruins exist, saying:

Of a thousand heroes, the fatherland here was.

The verse dedicated to Santa Anna

Of the immortal warrior of Zempoala.

The terrible sword defends you,

And holds his invincible arm

your sacred tricolor banner.

He will be the happy Mexican!

In peace and war the caudillo,

because he knew his weapons of brilliance

to circle in the fields of honor.

To circle in the fields of honor!

Iturbide's verse

Si a la lid contra hueste enemiga

The warrior trumpet summons us

Iturbide's sacred flag

Mexicans! brave follow.

And to the fierce bridle men serve them

The vanquished feats of carpet;

The laurels of triumph give shade

To the forehead of the brave Adalid.

What is the penalty for singing these verses?

According to the Law on the National Coat of Arms, Flag, and Anthem, the improper use of any patriotic symbol, including the modification of the lyrics of the anthem, represents an administrative offense "for which a fine of "up to ten thousand times the value of the Unit of Measurement and Updating (UMA) at the time the infraction was committed" will be paid.

According to the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi), the value of the UMA for 2022, which went into effect last February 1, is 96.22 pesos per day; therefore, singing the Mexican National Anthem incorrectly or using these stanzas would be equivalent to a penalty of up to approximately 900 thousand pesos.