What Does the Zia Symbol Stand For?

The Zia symbol consists of a red circle with various rays pointing in four directions. Four is a sacred number of the Zia culture. It is associated with the four compass directions, seasons of weather, stages of life, periods of each day and important sacred obligations honored within its society.

The Zia Indians revered the sun as sacred, and it is represented in the Zia symbol by a red circle. The Indians recognized the sunrise, noon, evening and night as the four phases of each day. Childhood, youth, adulthood and old age signified the four stages of a natural lifetime. The Zia society believed that the development of a strong body, clear mind, pure spirit and devotion to the welfare of family and community were obligations of each individual.

The Zia symbol is found in much of the pottery of the Zia Pueblo. It is also featured on the flag of New Mexico, and the design is incorporated into the state’s highway markers.