Argentina Flag Day

Argentina Flag Day

June 20 in Rosario; celebrated as a national holiday on the third Monday in June
The Argentine flag was designed and first raised on February 27, 1812, by Lt.-General Manuel Belgrano, during a battle with the forces of the Spanish crown. Stories about the origin of the design vary, but one popular version states that Belgrano, noting that both Spanish and Independence forces wore the yellow and red of Spain, was inspired to create the new flag of two light blue stripes and one white. The colors are variously said to have been in honor of the Virgin Mary, inspired by the sky, or drawn from a coat of arms of the Spanish monarchy. In any case, Belgrano's flag was first raised at the village of Rosario, in two artillery batteries—one on the banks of the Parana River, and another at a site on an island directly opposite Rosario. On June 20, 1816, the Argentine Congress officially approved Belgrano's flag as the symbol of the independent Argentine nation. In later years, a sun was added to the white stripe of the original design. While this is now required on official ceremonial flags, flags without the sun symbol are also used and are known as "ornamental flags."
Belgrano died on June 20, 1820, and this date was declared Flag Day in 1938. It is now celebrated as a national holiday on the third Monday in June, but in Rosario, June 20 is also marked as a civic and school holiday. Across the country, the day may be marked with flag ceremonies and various other celebrations, but in Rosario, the festivities are most extensive. Many of the activities there take place near the National Flag Memorial, a large complex featuring a 70-meter tower commemorating the revolution and containing Belgrano's crypt.
The 50th anniversary of the Flag Memorial was celebrated in 2007. In addition to the usual parades, flag ceremonies, and speeches by government officials, celebrations in Rosario that year featured the inauguration of a new blue-and-white lighting system for the monument. There were also concerts, sporting events, a national artisans fair, and a reenactment of Belgrano's 1812 entry into Rosario.
CONTACTS:
Embassy of Argentina
1600 New Hampshire Ave. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20009-2512
202-238-6400; fax: 202-332-3171
www.embassyofargentina.us