The Flag of Argentina is a triband flag consisting of three equally wide horizontal bands. There is a band of light blue across the top and bottom of the flag with a white band in between. Centered on the white band is the “Sun of May”. The flag is twice as long as it is tall. The Argentina flag was adopted in February of 1812, but the “Sun of May” was not added until 1818.
The “Sun of May” on the Argentina Flag is a national emblem of Argentina, and is a radiant golden yellow sun bearing a human face with thirty-two rays extending from it, that alternate between sixteen straight and sixteen wavy rays. The “Sun of May” is a replica of an engraving found on the first Argentine coin. Historian, Diego Abad de Santillan says it represents the Inca sun god Inti.
The flag of Argentina was created by Manuel Belgrano during the Argentine War of Independence. Belgrano also created the Cockade of Argentina which was worn by those who supported the new government. The colors were light blue and white, which were the colors of Ferdinand’s House of Bourbon. He was encouraged by the success of the Cockade; therefore, he created the Argentine Flag with the same colors. Many believe the light blue and white represent the blue sky parting to reveal white clouds, as is said to have happened when the Liberation demonstration began in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on May 25, 1810.
The flag of Argentina featuring the “Sun of May” emblem is known as the Official Ceremonial Flag. It is the official civil state, war flag and ensign. The Argentinean flag without the yellow “Sun of May” emblem is known as the Ornamental Flag. This flag is seen as an alternate civil flag and ensign. Both flags are seen as the National Flag of Argentina, with the Ornamental flag being flown under the Ceremonial flag.
The Argentine flag influenced the designs of the national flags of five Central American states: El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica and Nicaragua, as well as that of neighboring Uruguay.
Argentina’s Flag Day is celebrated on June 20th, the anniversary of Manuel Belgrano’s death.