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República Argentina; Argentine Republic

Last modified: 2006-08-19 by francisco gregoric
Keywords: argentina | sun: 32 rays | sun: face | belgrano (manuel) | celeste | ceremonial flag | civil ensign | law | doubt | ratio |
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[Argentine flag]
by Thanh-Tâm Lê, 07 Apr 2000
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About the flag

The ratio is stated in Album 2000 [pay00] as 2:3, with note that 1:2 flags exist. The flag is marked as CSW/CSW, which is correct, as far as I know, from 1985.
Zeljko Heimer, 03 Feb 2001

In 1944 was done the first modern effort to regulate and legislate about the Argentine symbols. The purpose was to standardize criteria and legislate what remained unlegislated. As usual, though, some things were looked over, especially about the flag. Therefore in 1985 and 1999 new legislation took place. However, some details are still left unclarified. For instance, the color of the sun as well as its features, is not described by law, neither that it should appear on both sides of the flag.
Gustavo Tracchia, 23 Sep 2001, translated by António Martins

A complete and exaustive legislation about the [argentine] national symbols is missing. An inter-ministry commission, in wich the [Argentine History] Academy participated by way of one of its members, ellaborated in the years (?) 1989 a law draft that was presented to the Congress [the argentine parlament], but wasn’t considered for voting after all. More recently some legislators has presented more drafts, but only about the flag. These remained as drafts only.
Néstor Poitevin (Argentine History Academy), 20 Aug 1999, translated by António Martins

The Argentine standard was conceived by General Belgrano, at the place where today is located the city of Rosario. He got the inspiration while he was staring at the sky, just before a battle, at the shores of the Paraná.
Felipe Flores Pinto, 23 Feb 1998

The Argentine Flag Day, 20th June, is Belgrano’s death anniversary.
Oswaldo Gorgazzi, 01 Jan 2001

The plain triband

[Argentine civil flag]
by António Martins, 07 Apr 2000

Presidential decree number 1541 signed by Argentine President Raul Ricardo Alfonsin on 16 August 1985, and companion law number 23,208 of the same date proved that Argentine citizens have the right to use (tienen derecho a usar) the official national flag (la Bandera Oficial de la Nación), provided it is used with respect and honor. Article 1 of both instruments makes explicit that citizens — not merely the federal, provincial, and territorial governments — have the right to use the Argentine flag containing the sun emblem in the center stripe. Article 2 of these instruments ablishes portions of earlier decrees (25 April 1884, 19 June 1943, and 24 April 1944) that restriced the use of the sun-bearing flag to the military and government agencies and derogated the legal status of the plain flag.

[...] The 1985 law does not abolish the Argentine flag without the sun, which has existed since 1816; rather, the law simply extnds the use of the sun flag to all Argentines, provided it is accorded honor and respect. Additionally, by abolishing certain articles of the 1940s decrees, the 1985 law has the effect of again recognizing the plain triband as an official flag of Argentine national character.

Timothy Boronczyk, 22 Jul 1998, quoting Gustavo Tracchia [tra98]

According to Album des Pavillons, [pay00], 2000, flag without sun emblem is «alternative civil flag and ensign», so C--/C--. Ratio is given as 9:14, but I am not aware from where that numbers come.
Zeljko Heimer, 03 Feb 2001

According to Album des Pavillons, [pay], 1995, this is also the civil ensign (“symbolic ensign”), proportion 1:2.
Ivan Sache, 26 May 1999

The shade of blue

"Celeste" is spanish for "of the sky" (as in “sky-ish”).
António Martins, 25 Sep 1998

Argentines call the main colour of their national flag celeste (that is colour of the day sky at the normal angles of sight). Followers of the Partido Justicialista prefer cyan (a mix of blue and green, ), those of the previous Unión Cívica Radical government preferred whitish blue (). Anything in between is also acceptable, but saturated blue () definitely not.
Gerardo W. Fischer, 22 Jun 1996

Blue and sky blue were used indistinctly until the Decree no.10302 of April 24th 1944 which defined it as «blue as clear as the sky» [great!]
Santiago Dotor, 15 Jun 1999, translating from this website

The shade is Pantone 290, even though many use 297 instead since 290 results too ligh sometimes. It's a matter of finding out the situations when it is used. (This is not an official specification: It was fixed by me, Whitney Smith and Peter Orenski, comparing several flags of silk, canvas, polyester, etc. that I had gathered, along with the illustrations that come with the official argentine bulletins.)
Gus Tracchia, 04 Feb 2000, translated by António Martins

“Approximate“ (i.e. not official) shades (both Pantone und CMYK) given in the Album 2000 [pay00]:
Santiago Dotor, 26 Feb 2001

A reccomendation of this Academy (1997.04.09), to answer an query from the Chancelry, about the color identification in the Pantone scale, specifies that: «according to it will be chosen from the sampler "Pantone Color Formula GUIDE" the colors Pantone 298 C or Pantone 2995 C which are approximates of the blue shade that corresponds to our flag. Naturally, depending on the quality, texture and kind of surface (dull or bright) there will be visual variations in color perception, but those given above seem to be quite approximative to the requested identification.»
Néstor Poitevin (Argentine History Academy), 20 Aug 1999, translated by António Martins

These Pantones reccomended by the History Academy seem too dark to me, and they dont fit the (later) official law about the colors: Cielab L’ 64.35 a 7.02 b 29.17 C 30.01 H’ 256.47.
António Martins, 11 Oct 1999 and 15 Nov 1999

Blue and sky blue [celeste] were used indistinctly until the Decree no.10302 of April 24th 1944 which defined it as «blue as clear as the sky» [great!]
Santiago Dotor, 15 Jun 1999, translating from this website

The height:width ratio

The ratio is 1:2. However the military use 2:3 so they can use it on parades. The same as those used by schools.
Gustavo Tracchia, 02 Feb 2000, translated by António Martins

All my (few) sources disagree upon Argentina’s flag proportions:

  • Znamierowski [zna99] says «Proportions unspecified»;
  • The Flagchart 1998 [gvh98], with data from The Flag Research Center, says «9:14»;
  • Banderas y escudos del mundo [alv86] says «2:3 for the state and war flags and about 2:3 (not legally specified) for the civil flag».
As for every day life, I would say proportions vary a lot, just as if there were not specified, the strips are simply equal width.
Nicolas Rucks, 22 Jan 2000

According to Estandarte [est] the single explanation [for the quantity of quoted ratios prescribed — 1:2, 13:20, 2:3, 9:13, 4:6] is that the size is regulated by art.0101 of the annex 1, that is not reproduced.
Jaume Ollé, 03 Aug 2000

I have been looking around today and a few days before and I have seen lots of proportions for the celeste y blanca (skyblue and white, the national colors). I have not measured, I guess there were 2:3, 1:2, something in between and even one that was longer than 1:2 (10:25 maybe) but not 1:3.
Nicolas Rucks, 25 May 2000

I have seen yet another proportion for the argentinian flag. It was about 3:4. Again, I didn’t mesure, but it certainly was shorter than 2:3 and the sun was right in the middle, so It was not cur or fold or whatever, it was manufactured like that. I must say though, that it is the first time that I see those proportions.
Nicolas Rucks, 26 May 2000

Sun specs

The sun’s diameter, toghether with the rays and face, cover 4/5ths of the white stripe’s height. The ratio between the legth of the rays and the face of the sun is 2 : 2.5 : 2. None of this is legislated, only infered from direct observation of actual flags, set by flag manufators and designers.
Gustavo Tracchia, 23 Sep 2001, translated by António Martins

How to display and carry the flag

When ceremonially carried, the Argentine flag is subject to certain particular and elaborated practices:

  • Flag Apparels:
    The law requires that an Argentine National Pavillion (a carrying flag) shall be:
    • Tied by four sets of double white ribbons to a carrying pole.
    • The carrying pole shall be of a specific national wood (similar to mahogany), 2.10 m tall, tipped with a silver polished metal point and a horizontal crescent.
    • A Cravatte, with a bow and two long tippets, all in the same design as the flag, finished in gold thread, shall be tied to the point. The name of the Army, School, Club, etc. could be embroidered on the tippets. Decorations and medals (if any) are pinned to the cravatte.
    • The Sun of May (which is centered in the white stripe), complete with face and right and flaming rays, shall be embroidered in gold thread, normally with a certain volume or relief in the face.
  • Flag Bearers:
    • The carrying belt is not frontal, but a complete body band, used from left shoulder to waist, made of strong leather and covered with satin flag colours. It shall have an embroidered national coat of arms (not the Sun of May, to avoid confussion with the Presidential badge).
    • The flag bearer shall wear white gloves.
As you can easily imagine, ceremonial flags (which are a must in Schools, Scout Groups, etc) are expensive. In my last check, the full set will cost around US$ 800! Flags are always carried with at least two escoltas (escorts). Flag bearers are usually selected through a careful screening process, and even in schools there is strong competition to achieve the honour.
Sergio Laurenti, 29 Jan 1996

According to art. 4 of the Misiones Province flag law, school parades chose for their national flag carrier the student with best grades.
António Martins, 13 Dec 2001