The flag of Argentina is light blue and white and features a golden sun at its center. In Spanish, the sun is known as the Sol de Mayo (Sun of May) and is modeled after the symbol of the Incan Sun God, Inti. Before the national flag, the Sol de Mayo was used on the first Argentine coin in 1813. As for the colors of the flag, there are several theories about reasons behind them. Traditionally it is believed that a man named General Manuel Belgrano created the flag of Argentina with the colors used by the Criollos in the May Revolution of 1810. However, it is apparently more likely that the colors were based on the coat of arms of the House of Bourbon, Spain’s royal family. Other theorists believe the colors represent the sky, clouds and sun.
Belgrano created the flag of Argentina during the Argentine War of Independence. As commanded a battle near Rosario, Argentina, Belgrano noticed that the colors of the Crown’s forces and the independence forces were the same, the yellow and red of Spain. Upon realizing this, Belgrano had the flag of Argentina created. However, Belgrano’s flag was still much different than the one used today. Instead of three horizontal stripes, it had two vertical stripes, one light blue and the other white. Belgrano’s soldiers first swore allegiance to this flag on February 27, 1812, on the Batería Libertad by the Paraná River. On that day, Belgrano is supposed to have said the following:
“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.”
Which, according to Wikipedia, can be translated as:
“Soldiers of the Fatherland, we have heretofore had the glory of wearing the national cockade; there (pointing to the Independence battery) 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 life to the Homeland!” (after the oath) “Lord Captain and troops chosen for the first time for the battery Independence: go, take possession of it and fulfill the oath you have just sworn”.
In Buenos Aires, the nation’s capital, the flag of Argentina was flown for the first time on August 23, 1821, atop the Saint Nicolas of Bari Church, where the Obelisco currently sits. The Argentine National Congress adopted it as its symbol on July 9, 1816, after the declaration of impendence. Since that time, the flag of Argentina has been the inspiration for the flags of other nations, such Uruguay and Paraguay.