- June 20 -

Flag Day (Argentina)

The Day of the National Flag (in Spanish, Día de la Bandera Nacional) is the holiday dedicated to the Argentine flag and to the commemoration of its creator, Manuel Belgrano. It is celebrated on June 20, the anniversary of Belgrano's death in 1820. This date was designated in...

Flag Day (Argentina)

The Day of the National Flag (in Spanish, Día de la Bandera Nacional) is the holiday dedicated to the Argentine flag and to the commemoration of its creator, Manuel Belgrano. It is celebrated on June 20, the anniversary of Belgrano's death in 1820. This date was designated in 1938.

The Argentine flag has three horizontal bands; the top and bottom ones are light blue, and the middle is white. The Argentine flag colors’ meaning is disputed. Some say the white represents silver. Early conquistadors named the country Argentina after the Latin word Argentinum, meaning silver, thinking that the region contained vast amounts of the precious metal. The blue bands may represent the sky, the waters of Argentina’s Rio de la Plata, or the blue used by the Spanish royal house of Bourbon on their coat of arms.

Observing the flag, our gaze is immediately attracted to its center, where we find its most striking feature: a human face wearing a neutral expression inside a gold disc with straight and wavy rays emitting from its center, representing a sun. The sun, named el sol de mayo (the sun of May) after Argentina’s May revolution, which eventually lead to the nation’s independence from Spain, is a national emblem. Argentine coinage dating back to 1813 has an image of the same sun, as does the Uruguayan flag (differing only in the amount of rays), and early versions of the Peruvian flag.

The main seat of the Flag Day commemorations is the National Flag Memorial, in the city of Rosario in Santa Fe Province, where the flag was first hoisted on two artillery batteries in opposite banks of the Paraná River. The flag was created on 27 February 1812, but that date is not officially commemorated in any way. The celebration consists of a public meeting, speeches by the municipal and provincial authorities, the attendance of the President, and a parade including members of the military, veterans of the Falklands War, the police force, and a number of civilian organizations and associations.

Flag Day was created by law No 12,361, on June 8, 1938. Initially, it was a celebration held in a fixed day, but law No 24,445 modified it to be commemorated on the third Monday of the month. This design creates long weekends and boost tourism. Within the jurisdiction of Rosario, however, June 20 is always a non-working day for employees of the municipal and provincial administrations, and for all public and private schools. Hermes Binner made a project of law in 2006 to derogate this modification and restore both celebrations in fixed days, but the proposal expired because of not being treated by the Congress in a whole year. Nevertheless, Binner (governor of Santa Fe by then) and the mayor of Rosario, Miguel Lifschitz, insisted in the 2010 Flag Day that Congress should repeal the law and restore the commemoration to fixed days.

Manuel Belgrano
Manuel José Joaquín del Corazón de Jesús Belgrano (3 June 1770 – 20 June 1820), usually referred to as Manuel Belgrano, was an Argentine economist, lawyer, politician, and military leader. He took part in the Argentine Wars of Independence and created the Flag of Argentina. He is regarded as one of the main Libertadores of the country.

Buenos Aires on 3 June 1794, Belgrano was elected by Don Diego de Gardoqui as "perpetual secretary" of the Commerce Consulate of Buenos Aires, a new local institution which dealt with commercial and industrial issues in the name of the crown. This date would be later known in Argentina as Economist Day.
He would remain in this office until 1810, and would deal with commercial disputes and promote agriculture, industry, and commerce. Not having enough freedom to make big changes in the economic system, he made big efforts to improve education. Influenced by Campomanes, he believed that the true wealth of countries was human ingenuity, and that the best way to promote industrialisation was through education.
Besides designing the flag and cockade, Belgrano is remembered for his involvement in extensive freedom fighting campaigns, particularly in the upper Peru region. This proposal was supported by San Martín, Güemes, the deputies from the Upper Peru, and other provinces, but it found a strong rejection from Buenos Aires; they would not accept Cuzco as the capital city. 1816 On 9 July the Congress finally signed the Declaration of Independence from Spain.

Source:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_Day_(Argentina)
http://www.donquijote.org/culture/argentina/history/argentina-flag.asp
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manuel_Belgrano

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More holidays on this day:

World Refugee Day
International Ride to Work Day
Summer Solstice - 1st Day of Summer

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