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 National Coat of Arms


 

National Flag

National Flower


Flor del Ceibo o Seibo
(Erythrina crista-galli)

National Flag*
                        Manuel Belgrano first raised up the national flag of Argentina in the city of Rosario, in February 27, 1812. Doña Maria Catalina Echeverria de Vidal concocted the Argentine flag. Noting the necessity for a national flag, Belgrano decided that the colors of the flag should be sky blue and white, just as the colors of the national emblem (insignia).

The Twenty-third of August of 1812 was the day when for the first time the flag of the nation was seen waving in the air, in the tower of the San Nicolas Temple in Buenos Aires. The flag was officially approved July 18, 1816, nine days after Argentina declared its independence. Such an action was the only honorable thing to do after hundreds had died in the name of the emerging nation. Two days later, it was solved by decree that the official colors of the flag would be sky blue and white; in addition the flag was declared a national symbol.  To glorify the flag such as it deserves, the Eight of June of 1938, the Argentine Congress declared by law, the Twentieth of June as National Flag Day, and made this day a National Holiday. The Twentieth of June, the day Belgrano died, was chosen in his honor since he is credited with the flag’s creation.

National Coat of Arms*
                                          Until the Assembly, which convened in 1813, designated the Stamp that the executive power, and the assembly itself should use, all governmental acts, documents, and decrees were legalized with the stamp of the Spanish Royal family used during the Viceroyalty.

The General Assembly of 1813 came to order in January 31, 1813, and it is certain, that only days after that date, the stamp which is now the national coat of arms, became part of every official government document executed. Nowadays we can see this initial use of the stamp, through two conserved citizenship identification documents dated February 22, 1813. One of the citizenship identification documents, executed for a Mr. Antonio Olavarria, is presently found in the National History Museum. It is important to note that there it is no official law, neither of the present, nor of that time that designates that the stamp used by the assembly should be the national coat of arms.

It is not known exactly who came up with the design and different components that represent glory, union, and liberty. Over the years the coat of arms has gone through a variety of alterations imposed by bodies such as the General Assembly. Changes made by this body range from the suppression of the rising sun to the addition of military trophies. Other alterations which were generally made in publications or in the stamping of different documents, range from giving the sun an angel’s face, changing the number of rays in the sun, increasing the number of flags, varying the ellipsis’s proportions, and modifying the form and inclination of the Liberty hat. The fact that the coat of arms was going through so many arbitrary changes made it necessary to regularize its appearance. Decree number 10.302 of April 24 of 1944 made such regularization possible.

As for the Coat of arms’ symbolism, it is generally considered that the human forearms that stretch out their hands at the bottom of the coat of arms represent the union of the United Provinces of Rio de La Plata. The red cap at the center of the coat of arms is an ancient symbol of liberty, and the lance that holds it up, represents the necessity of the defense of liberty through the use of arms. The rising sun represents the birth of a new nation, while the laurels represent victory, particularly the triumph and glory acquired in the battles of Suipacha and Tucuman. As for the blue, silver, and white lace tied in the form of a ribbon, and, the two halves of the coat of arms, one blue and the other white, represent allusions to Argentine nationalism.

*Source: Presidencia de la Nación (www.presidencia.gov.ar)

 

 

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Updated: 29 February 2008


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