Flag of Argentina

Last updated
Argentine Republic
Flag of Argentina.svg
Use National flag and ensign FIAV 111111.svg
Proportion5:8 or 9:14
AdoptedFebruary 27, 1812 (original), 1861 (current version), 2012 (standardization)[ not verified in body ]
DesignA horizontal triband of light blue (top and bottom) and white with a Sun of May centered on the white band.
Designed by Manuel Belgrano

The flag of Argentina is a triband, composed of three equally wide horizontal bands coloured light blue and white. There are multiple interpretations on the reasons for those colors. The flag was created by Manuel Belgrano, in line with the creation of the Cockade of Argentina, and was first raised at the city of Rosario on February 27, 1812, during the Argentine War of Independence. The National Flag Memorial was later built on the site. The First Triumvirate did not approve the use of the flag, but the Asamblea del Año XIII allowed the use of the flag as a war flag. It was the Congress of Tucumán which finally designated it as the national flag, in 1816. A yellow Sun of May was added to the center in 1818, which according to anarchist Diego Abad de Santillán, the sun represents the Incan god of the sun Inti., [1] but its true symbolism is a matter or debate between vexillologists.


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 Ceremonial Flag is the civil, state and war flag and ensign, while the Ornamental Flag is an alternative civil flag and ensign. There is controversy of the true colour of the first flag between historians and the descendants of Manuel Belgrano between blue and pale blue.


Manuel Belgrano holding the flag. Belgrano y la Bandera.JPG
Manuel Belgrano holding the flag.

The flag of Argentina was created by Manuel Belgrano during the Argentine War of Independence. While in Rosario he noticed that both the royalist and patriotic forces were using the same colors, Spain's yellow and red. After realizing this, Belgrano created the Cockade of Argentina, which was approved by the First Triumvirate on February 18, 1812. Encouraged by this success, he created a flag of the same colors nine days later. It used the colors that were used by the Criollos during the May Revolution in 1810. However, recent research and studies would indicate that the colors were chosen from the Spanish Order of Charles III symbolizing the allegiance to the rightful, and then captive King Ferdinand VII of Spain. Most portraits about the creation or first uses of the flag show the modern design of it, but the flag of Macha, a very early design kept at the House of Freedom in Sucre, Bolivia was instead a vertical triband with two white bands and a light blue one in the middle. [2]

The flag was first flown for soldiers to swear allegiance to it on 27 February 1812, by personnel of the Batería Libertad (Liberty Battery), by the Paraná River. On that day, Belgrano said the following words:

Soldiers of the Fatherland, we have heretofore had the glory of wearing the national cockade; there (pointing to the Independence battery), on the Independence Battery, where our Government has recently had the honor of bestowing it upon, shall our weapons enlarge their glory. Let us swear to defeat our enemies, internal and external, and South America will become the temple of Independence and Freedom. In testament that you so swear it, say with me: LONG LIVE THE FATHERLAND! (after the oath) "Captain, sir, and troops chosen for the first time for the Independence Battery: go, take possession of it and fulfill the oath you have just sworn today." [3]

Belgrano dispatched a letter addressed to the First Triumvirate, informing them of the newly created flag. However, unlike with the cockade, the Triumvirate did not accept the use of the flag: policy at the time was to state that the government was ruling on behalf of King Ferdinand VII of Spain who was captive of Napoleon, whereas the creation of a flag was a clear independentist act. Thus, the triumvirate sent a warning to Belgrano not to fight under the flag, but by the time the reply had arrived, Belgrano had moved to the north, following the previous orders that requested him to strengthen the patriotic position in the Upper Peru after the defeat of Juan José Castelli at the Battle of Huaqui. Meanwhile, the flag was hoisted for the first time in Buenos Aires atop the Church of Saint Nicholas of Bari on August 23, 1812; where nowadays the Obelisk of Buenos Aires is located. Still not knowing about the Triumvirate's refusal, Belgrano raised the flag at San Salvador de Jujuy and had it blessed by the local church on the second anniversary of the May Revolution. Belgrano accepted the orders from the Triumvirate by time they arrived to Salta and ceased using the flag. As soldiers had already made oaths to the new flag, Belgrano said that he was saving it for the circumstance of a great victory.

The priest Juan Ignacio Gorriti blessing the flag. Bendicion de la Bandera en Jujuy.jpg
The priest Juan Ignacio Gorriti blessing the flag.

The First Triumvirate was later replaced by the Second Triumvirate, with a more liberal ideology, who called the Asamblea del Año XIII. Despite being one of its original goals, it did not declare independence, and so did not approve the use of a national flag either; nevertheless, the flag made by Belgrano was authorized to be used as a war flag. The first oath to the newly approved flag was on February 13, 1813, next to the Salado River, which became known as the "Río Juramento" ("Oath River"). The first battle fought with the approved flag was the Battle of Salta, a decisive patriotic victory that achieved the complete defeat of royalist Pío Tristán.

The flag would be finally declared the national flag by the Congress of Tucumán on July 20, 1816, shortly after the declaration of independence. The proposal was made by the deputy Juan José Paso and the text written by the deputy of Charcas, José Serrano. On February 25, 1818, the Congress (now working at Buenos Aires) included the Sun of May in the war flag, after the proposal of deputy Chorroarín. The sun was copied after the one that the first Argentine coin featured in 1813. It was subsequently decided to keep it as part of the regular flag afterwards, and thus the sun no longer represents war.

The Argentine flag flying for the first time over a coastal battery on the shores of the Parana, 27 February 1812 Orillas Parana.JPG
The Argentine flag flying for the first time over a coastal battery on the shores of the Paraná, 27 February 1812

José de San Martín was aware of the new flag, but did not employ it during the crossing of the Andes in 1817. Being a joint operation of both Argentine and Chilean forces, he thought that a new flag would be a better idea than using either the Argentine or the Chilean flag. This led to the creation of the Flag of the Andes, used in the crossing. This flag is currently used as a provincial flag by Mendoza province.

On June 8, 1938, president Roberto Ortiz sanctioned national law no. 12,361 declaring June 20 "Flag Day", a national holiday. The date was decided as the anniversary of Belgrano's death in 1820. In 1957 the National Flag Memorial (a 10,000 m2 monumental complex) was inaugurated in Rosario to commemorate the creation of the flag, and the official Flag Day ceremonies have customarily been conducted in its vicinity since then.

In 1978 it was specified, among other measurements, that the Official Ceremony Flag should be 1.4 meters wide and 0.9 meters high, and that the sun must be embroidered.

According to the Decree 10,302/1944 the article 2 stated that the Official Flag of the Nation is the flag with sun, approved by the "Congress of Tucumán", reunited in Buenos Aires on 25 February 1818. The article 3 stated that the flag with the sun in its center is to be used only by the Federal and Provincial Governments; while individuals and institutions use a flag without the sun. [4]

In 1985 the Law 23,208 repealed the article 3 of the Decree 10,302/1944, saying that the Federal and Provincial Governments, as well as individuals have the right to use the Official Flag of the Nation. [5]

Historical flags

Flag of Belgrano (1812).svg 1812Flag of Manuel Belgrano [6] [7] [8]
Flag of Argentina (alternative).svg 1812–1818The Flag of Macha [7] [8]
Officially adopted in 1816
Flag of Argentina.svg 1818–1819Flag of the United Provinces [9] [10]
Flag of Argentina (1818).svg 1819–1820The flag briefly had a darker color [9] [10]
Flag of Argentina.svg 1820–1829The old color was restored [9] [10]
Flag of Liga Federal.svg 1829–1835Flag chosen by Juan Manuel de Rosas after his ascension to power and in the newly created Argentine Confederation [11] [10]
Flag of Argentina (1840).svg 1835–1850Flag of the Argentine Confederation [11] [10]
Flag of the Argentine Confederation.svg 1850–1861Flag of the Argentine Confederation [11] [10]
Flag of Argentina.svg 1861–presentThe adoption of the current flag in the Argentine Republic [12]


The flag at Plaza de Mayo, in front of the Casa Rosada. Casa Rosada exterior from Plaza de Mayo.JPG
The flag at Plaza de Mayo, in front of the Casa Rosada.
Flag in Buenos Aires. Argentina (9443542299).jpg
Flag in Buenos Aires.
Flag in Puerto Madryn. Bandera de Argentina - Punta Cuevas, Chubut (2).JPG
Flag in Puerto Madryn.

Popular belief attributes the colors to those of the sky, clouds and the sun; some anthems to the flag like "Aurora" or "Salute to the flag" state so as well. However, historians usually disregard this idea, and attribute them to loyalty towards the House of Bourbon.[ citation needed ]

After the May Revolution, the first times of the Argentine War of Independence, the Triumvirate claimed to be acting on behalf of the Spanish King Ferdinand VII, who was prisoner of Napoleon Bonaparte during the Peninsular War. Whether such loyalty was real or a trick to conceal independentism is a topic of dispute. The creation of a new flag with those colors would have been then a way to denote autonomy, while keeping the relations with the captive king alive.[ citation needed ]

Shape and size

From 1978, the flag's official proportions are 9:14, and its official size is 0.9 by 1.4 meters. It features three stripes alternating sky blue, white and sky blue. Each stripe is 30 centimeters high.[ citation needed ] In the center stripe there is an emblem known as the Sun of May (Spanish : Sol de Mayo), a golden sun. Historian Diego Abad de Santillán claimed that the Sun of May was a representation of the Inca sun god Inti. [13]

Flags with proportions of 1:2 and 2:3 are also in use.[ citation needed ]


The colors are officially defined using the CIE 1976 standard:

SchemeSky blueYellowBrown
CIE (L*, a*, b*) 67.27, -6.88, -32.2374.97, 29.22, 81.5844.53, 27.16, 22.48
*Black and white are as normal. *Source: http://manuelbelgrano.gov.ar/bandera/normas-iram/

The following are given for computer, textile, print and plastic use:

Flag of Argentina.svg Colors schemeSky blueYellowBrown
116, 172, 223
246, 180, 14
133, 52, 10
Pantone (textile)16-4132 TC14-1064 TC18-1441 TC
Pantone (print)284 C / 284 U1235 C / 116 U483 C / 483 U
Pantone (plastic)Q 300-4-1Q 030-2-1Q 120-2-4
*Source: ibid.

The Spanish word celeste (sky blue) is used to describe the colour of the blue stripes.[ citation needed ]

Sun of May

The sun is called the Sun of May because it is a replica of an engraving on the first Argentine coin, approved in 1813, whose value was eight escudos (one Spanish dollar). It has 16 straight and 16 waved sunbeams.[ citation needed ]

In 1978 the sun color was specified to be golden yellow (amarillo oro), to have an inner diameter of 10 cm, and an outer diameter of 25 cm (the diameter of the sun equals 56 the height of the white stripe. The sun's face is 25 of its height). It features 32 rays, alternately wavy and straight, and from 1978 it must be embroidered in the "Official Flag Ceremony".[ citation needed ]

Influence of the Argentine flag

The flag of the United Provinces of Central America. Flag of the United Provinces of Central America.svg
The flag of the United Provinces of Central America.
Flag of Peru (1822) Flag of Peru (1822).svg
Flag of Peru (1822)

The French privateer Louis-Michel Aury used the Argentine flag as a model for the blue-white-blue flag of the first independent state in Central America, which was created 1818 in Isla de Providencia, an island off the east coast of Nicaragua. This state existed until approximately 1821, before the Gran Colombia took over control of these islands. Somewhat later (1823) this flag was again used as the model for the flag of the United Provinces of Central America, [14] [15] [16] a confederation of the current Central American states of Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica, which existed from 1823 to 1838. After the dissolution of the Union, the five countries became independent, but even today all of these states except Costa Rica use flags of blue-white-blue stripes (the Costa Rican flag has a compound red stripe on the white one, added to incorporate all the colors of the French flag). The Argentine flag also inspired the flags of Uruguay and Paraguay.

Current flags of Central and South American countries

Anthems to the flag

Aurora (Sunrise)

Alta en el cielo, un águila guerrera
Audaz se eleva en vuelo triunfal.
Azul un ala del color del cielo,
Azul un ala del color del mar.

Así en el alta aurora irradial.
Punta de flecha el áureo rostro imita.
Y forma estela el purpurado cuello.
El ala es paño, el águila es bandera.

Es la bandera de la patria mía,
del sol nacido que me ha dado Dios.
Es la bandera de la Patria Mía,
del sol nacido que me ha dado Dios.

High in the sky, a warrior eagle
rises audacious in its triumphal flight
One wing is blue, sky-colored;
one wing is blue, sea-colored.

In the high radiant aurora
its golden face resembles the tip of an arrow.
And its purple nape leaves a wake.
The wing is cloth, the eagle is a flag.

It is the flag of the Fatherland of mine
that God gave me, born of the sun.
It is the flag of the Fatherland of mine
that God gave me, born of the sun.

Lyrics by Luigi Illica and Héctor Cipriano Quesada, music by Héctor Panizza, it is sung during flag raising ceremonies.

Saludo a la bandera (Salutation to the Flag)

Salve, argentina
bandera azul y blanca.
Jirón del cielo
en donde impera el Sol.
Tú, la más noble,
la más gloriosa y santa,
el firmamento su color te dio.

Yo te saludo,
bandera de mi Patria,
sublime enseña
de libertad y honor.
Jurando amarte,
como así defenderte,
mientras palpite mi fiel corazón.

Hail, Argentine
Blue and white flag
Shred of the sky
Where the Sun reigns
You, the Most Noble
The Most Glorious and Holy
The sky gave its color to you

I salute you
Flag of my motherland
Sublime ensign
of freedom and honour
Swearing to love you
as well as to defend you
for as long as my faithful heart beats

Mi Bandera (My Flag)

Aquí está la bandera idolatrada,
la enseña que Belgrano nos legó,
cuando triste la Patria esclavizada
con valor sus vínculos rompió.

Aquí está la bandera esplendorosa
que al mundo con sus triunfos admiró,
cuando altiva en la lucha y victoriosa
la cima de los Andes escaló.

Aquí está la bandera que un día
en la batalla tremoló triunfal
y, llena de orgullo y bizarría,
a San Lorenzo se dirigió inmortal.

Aquí está, como el cielo refulgente,
ostentando sublime majestad,
después de haber cruzado el Continente,
exclamando a su paso: ¡Libertad!
¡Libertad! ¡Libertad!

Here is the idolized flag,
the flag that Belgrano left to us,
when the sad enslaved Homeland
bravely broke its bonds.

Here is the splendorous flag
that surprised the world with its victory,
when arrogant and victoriously during the battles
the top of the Andes it has climbed.

Here is the flag that one day
triumphantly rose in the middle of the battle
and, full of pride and gallantry,
to San Lorenzo it went immortal.

Here it is, like the shining sky,
showing sublimate majesty
after having crossed the continent
shouting in its way: "Freedom!"
"Freedom! Freedom!"

Pledge to the Flag

As Flag Day is celebrated on June 20, the following pledge is recited to students nationwide on this day by their respective school principals or grade level advisers. In large towns where students are gathered en masse, the pledge is taken by the local town or city executive, preceded by words of advice and honor to the memory of its creator, Manuel Belgrano, using the following or similar formulas:

Variant 1

Niños/Alumnos, la Bandera blanca y celeste—Dios sea loado—no ha sido atada jamás al carro triunfal de ningún vencedor de la tierra.
Niños/Alumnos, esa Bandera gloriosa representa a la Patria de los Argentinos. Prometáis rendirle vuestro más sincero y respetuoso homenaje, quererla con amor inmenso y formarle, desde la aurora de la vida un culto fervoroso e imborrable en vuestros corazones; preparándoos desde la escuela para practicar a su tiempo, con toda pureza y honestidad, las nobles virtudes inherentes a la ciudadanía, estudiar con empeño la historia de nuestro país y la de sus grandes benefactores a fin de seguir sus huellas luminosas y a fin también de honrar la Bandera y de que no se amortigüe jamás en vuestras almas el delicado y generoso sentimiento de amor a la Patria. En una palabra: ¿prometéis lo que esté en las medidas de vuestras fuerzas que la Bandera Argentina flamee por siempre sobra nuestras murallas y fortalezas, en lo alto de los mástiles de nuestras naves y a la cabeza de nuestras legiones y para que el honor sea su aliento, la gloria su aureola, la justicia su empresa?
Response: ¡Sí, prometo! [17]
Children/Students, the white and sky-blue flag, God be praised, has never been carried in the triumphal carts of any victors of this Earth.
Children/Students, this glorious Flag represents the Fatherland of the Argentines. I ask you all to promise to produce your most sincere and respectful homage, to love it and form it with immense love, from the dawn of the life a fervent and indelible cult in your hearts; preparing yourselves from the school to practice to its time, with all purity and honesty, the noble virtues inherent in citizenship, studying with determination the history of our country and that of its big benefactors in order to continue its luminous traces and to end also of honoring the Flag and of which there should never get depressed in your souls the delicate and generous love feeling to the Fatherland. In one word: do you promise that what should be in the measurements of your forces that the Flag of Argentina flames forever exceeds our walls and fortitude, on top of the masts of our ships and at the head of our legions and so that the honor should be its breath, the glory its aurora, the justice its company?
Response: Yes, I promise!
(standing to attention and extending the right arm towards the flag)

Versions of this include references to Belgrano and to all who fought for the country during the Argentine War of Independence and other wars that followed.

Variant 2

Niños/Alumnos, esta es la Bandera que creó Manuel Belgrano en los albores de nuestra libertad, simboliza a la República Argentina, nuestra Patria.
Es el símbolo de nuestra libre soberanía, que hace sagrados a los hombres y mujeres y a todos los pueblos del mundo. Convoca el ejercicio de nuestros deberes y nuestros derechos, a respetar las leyes y las instituciones. Es la expresión de nuestra historia forjada con la esperanza y el esfuerzo de millones de hombres y mujeres, los que nacieron en nuestra tierra y los que vinieron a poblarla al amparo de nuestra bandera y nuestra Constitución.
Representa nuestra tierra y nuestros mares, nuestros ríos y bosques, nuestros llanos y montañas, el esfuerzo de sus habitantes, sus sueños y realizaciones. Simboliza nuestro presente, en el que, día a día, debemos construir la democracia que nos ennoblece, y conquistar el conocimiento que nos libera; y nuestro futuro, el de nuestros hijos y el de las sucesivas generaciones de argentinos.
Niños/Alumnos, ¿prometen defenderla, respetarla y amarla, con fraterna tolerancia y respeto, estudiando con firme voluntad, comprometiéndose a ser ciudadanos libres y justos, aceptando solidariamente en sus diferencias a todos los que pueblan nuestro suelo y transmitiendo, en todos y cada uno de nuestros actos, sus valores permanentes e irrenunciables?
Response: Sí, prometo! [18]
Children/Students, this is the Flag that Manuel Belgrano created at the dawn of our freedom; the symbol of our fatherland, the Republic of Argentina.
It is the symbol of our free sovereignty, which renders sacred the men and women and all the peoples of the world. It calls on us to exercise our duties and our rights, to respect our nation's laws and institutions. It is the expression of our history forged with the hope and the efforts of millions of men and women, those who were born in our land and those who came to settle it under our flag and our Constitution.
It represents our land and our seas, our rivers and forests, our plains and mountains, the efforts of its inhabitants, their dreams and achievements. It symbolizes our present, in which, day by day, we must build the democracy that ennobles us and conquer the knowledge that frees us, as well as our future, that of our children and the successive generations of Argentines.
Children/Students, do you promise to defend, respect, and love it, with fraternal tolerance and respect, studying with determination, committing to be free and honest citizens, accepting in solidarity the diversity of all those who inhabit our lands, and passing on these permanent and irrevocable values in everything you do?
Response: Yes, I promise!
(standing to attention and extending the right arm towards the flag)

The Glorious Reveille may be sounded by a military or a marching band at this point, and confetti may be showered upon the students.

In the Armed Forces of the Argentine Republic and civil uniformed services the pledge is similar but with a different formula and response of ¡Si, juro! (Yes, I pledge!)

Military/police variant

¿Juráis a la Patria seguir constantemente su bandera y defenderla hasta perder la vida?
Response: ¡Sí, juro! [19]
Do you therefore pledge to the Fatherland constantly to follow its flag and defend it even at the cost of your lives?
Response: Yes, I pledge!

If in the Argentine Federal Police the words y su Constitución Nacional (and its Constitution) may be inserted.

See also

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Historiography of the May Revolution

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Timeline of the Argentine War of Independence

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Bicentennial of the flag of Argentina

The Bicentennial of the flag of Argentina was celebrated on February 27, 2012. It commemorated the 200th anniversary of the creation of the flag of Argentina by Manuel Belgrano, during the Argentine War of Independence. Most celebrations took place at Rosario, as the event took place in that city.


  1. Abad de Santillán, Diego (1965). Historia Argentina . Buenos Aires: TEA (Tipográfica Editora Argentina).
  2. La Primera Bandera y su destino Archived 2010-04-02 at the Wayback Machine (in Spanish)
  3. Spanish: Soldados de la Patria, en este punto hemos tenido la gloria de vestir la escarapela nacional; en aquél (señalando la batería Independencia) nuestras armas aumentarán sus glorias. Juremos vencer a nuestros enemigos interiores y exteriores y la América del Sud será el templo de la Independencia y de la Libertad. En fe de que así lo juráis decid conmigo: ¡Viva la Patria!" "Señor capitán y tropa destinada por la primera vez a la batería Independencia: id, posesionaos de ella y cumplid el juramento que acabáis de hacer. Proclama dirigida por M. Belgrano a su ejército al enarbolar por primera vez la bandera
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  5. "Norma: LEY 23208". servicios.infoleg.gob.ar. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
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  7. 1 2 "ARGENTINA BANDERAS DE LA INDEPENDENCIA-II". angelfire.com. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
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  11. 1 2 3 "ARGENTINA 1829-1862". angelfire.com. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
  12. "ARGENTINA 1862-1944". angelfire.com. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
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  15. "Belgrano dejó descendencia en América Central". aimdigital. August 5, 2012. Archived from the original on October 13, 2013. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
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  18. Student Oath to the Flag as sanctioned by the Ministry of Education of Argentina.
  19. Rumbos Aeronauticos. "Military/Civil Uniformed Services Pledge to the Flag of Argentina" . Retrieved 22 August 2012.