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President of Mexico wants to change country's name... to Mexico

With just eight days left in office Felipe Calderon wants to introduce legislation to change the country’s name to Mexico. It’s currently known official as the United Mexican States.

Felipe Calderon with the flag of Mexico or the United Mexican States as it's officially known, for now.
Felipe Calderon with the flag of Mexico or the United Mexican States as it's officially known, for now.
Image: Eduardo Verdugo/AP/Press Association Images

MEXICAN PRESIDENT FELIPE Calderon has proposed changing Mexico’s official name from the United Mexican States to just Mexico.

Calderon, who steps down in eight days after six years in office, said there was no need to emulate other nations as it did in the 19th century.

“It’s time we Mexicans again take up the beauty and simplicity of the name of our fatherland: Mexico. A name we chant, we sing, that makes us happy and fills us with pride,” he said.

Mexico means belly button of the moon in the Nahuatl language. After independence from Spain in 1821, Mexico called itself the Mexican Empire.

Three years later, after adopting its first federal constitution, it changed the country’s name to the United Mexican States.

That name has stuck through several changes of the constitution.

At a ceremony at the presidential residence Los Pinos, Calderon said he would be submitting legislation to Congress for the name change.

“It is a matter of major importance, because a country’s name expresses a symbolic relationship with all that it is, with its people, its origins, its culture, its customs and above all its identity,” he said.

- AFP, 2012

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