Argentina National Flag
La Bandera, the flag, is one of the most important patriotic symbols for a country and usually, it also has a rich history behind it. If you have ever wondered the story behind the light blue and white Argentine flag, why sometimes there is a sun and sometimes not, then there is no better day than today, the Flag Day of Argentina, to learn more about it.
The story of the Argentine National Flag:
On February 27, 1812, the Argentine flag was created and first raised by the Paraná River in the city of Rosario by General Manuel Belgrano, who was one of the main influential figures who had led Argentina to its independence. Some said that the choice of colours (light blue and white) was inspired by the sky or the traditional outfit colours of the Virgin Mary. In fact, the colour choice was originated from the cockade that was used during the May Revolution in 1810. The light blue and white escarapela (cockade) was distributed among and used by all supporters at that time so they could be easily recognized and united to fight against the Spanish troops who were signified by the colour red.
Even though in the beginning the flag created by Belgrano was not accepted by the government, it was later on authorized to be used as a war flag. In 1816, shortly after the declaration of independence on July 9, the Congress of Tucumán also officially adopted the light blue and white flag as the National flag.
In 1818, the image of the sun was added to the centre of the flag. The sun, which is referred to as the “Sol de Mayo” (Sun of May), bears a human face and has 32 rays (16 straight and 16 wavy alternating). This Inca sun symbol was also used and appeared on the first coin of Argentina. As in exactly why the Inca sun symbol was added to the flag, it seems the explanation with most grounds, among the many different point-of-views, was that the government wanted to differentiate the patriotic symbol used for war purposes (in this case, the flag with the sun) from general usage on the fields.
The light blue and white with the sun symbol remains as the official national ceremonial flag of Argentina to this day. It is used in all official and formal settings. The flag without the sun is still considered as a recognized patriotic symbol but it’s only for decorative purposes in informal environments.
To honour General Belgrano as one of the Founding Fathers of Argentina and the creator of the National flag, June 20 (the date Belgrano passed away in 1820) was declared in 1938 as the nation’s Flag Day and a public holiday.