24.5.09

Flying on Monday May 25 2009




Today I am flying my Argentine Flag. It is a public holiday in Argentina, the anniversary of the First Independent Government in
Buenos Aires, the Revolución de Mayo Revolution in Buenos Aires in 1810, first step towards independence.

I visited Argentina in 1990, spending 3 weeks travelling around this vast and fascinating country. I try to have a flag for every country I have visited, but sadly I have not visited every country for which I have a flag.

The Official Ceremonial flag of Argentina dates from 1812. It is a triband, composed of three equally wide horizontal bands coloured light blue, white and light blue. In 1818, a yellow Sun of May was added to the center.The Sun of May is a representation of the Inca sun god Inti. It is a replica of an engraving on the first Argentine coin.

The full flag featuring the sun is called the Official Ceremonial Flag (Spanish: Bandera Oficial de Ceremonia). The flag without the sun is considered the Ornamental Flag (Bandera de Ornato). While both versions are equally considered the national flag, the ornamental version must always be hoisted below the Official Ceremony Flag. In vexillological terms, the Official Ceremony Flag is the civil, state and war flag and ensign, while the Ornamental Flag is an alternate civil flag and ensign.



The background of Argentina: In 1816, the United Provinces of the Rio Plata declared their independence from Spain. After Bolivia, Paraguay, and Uruguay went their separate ways, the area that remained became Argentina. The country's population and culture were heavily shaped by immigrants from throughout Europe, but most particularly Italy and Spain, which provided the largest percentage of newcomers from 1860 to 1930. Up until about the mid-20th century, much of Argentina's history was dominated by periods of internal political conflict between Federalists and Unitarians and between civilian and military factions. After World War II, an era of Peronist populism and direct and indirect military interference in subsequent governments was followed by a military junta that took power in 1976. Democracy returned in 1983 after a failed bid to seize the Falkland (Malvinas) Islands by force, and has persisted despite numerous challenges, the most formidable of which was a severe economic crisis in 2001-02 that led to violent public protests and the resignation of several interim presidents.