Homage to General Manuel Belgrano

On June 20, Flag Day is commemorated in our country in tribute to the passage to immortality of General Manuel Belgrano, one of the most outstanding heroes of our independence. This day is also celebrated in schools throughout the country in which students pledge loyalty to the flag, reinforcing the values ​​of freedom, unity and patriotism.

The national flag was raised for the first time on 27 February 1812 on the banks of the Paraná River in Rosario by Belgrano himself. This act took place during the struggle for the independence of the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata and symbolized the desire for freedom and union in Argentine lands. The flag, with its distinctive light blue and white colours, was officially adopted on 25 July 1816 by the Congress of Tucumán, shortly after the declaration of independence. In 1938 the National Congress passed Law 12,361 establishing June 20 as Flag Day. Later, Decree 1584/2010 established the irremovability of the commemoration of that date in memory of the passing to immortality of General Manuel Belgrano.

Manuel José Joaquín del Corazón de Jesús Belgrano was born on June 3, 1770 in Buenos Aires. A lawyer, economist, journalist, politician and military man, Belgrano is a central figure in Argentine history. In addition to his role in the creation of the flag, he was active in the First Junta and led the Army of the North. His leadership in the exodus from Jujuy and his victories in the battles of Tucumán and Salta are testimony to his commitment to the cause of independence.

Belgrano was not only a military leader, but also a fervent advocate of Enlightenment ideas. He believed in the spread of knowledge and reason, and his life reflects a constant effort to build a united and prosperous nation. His creation of the national flag was a symbol of that vision, an emblem intended to strengthen the identity and cohesion of the territory’s inhabitants in their struggle for independence.

Despite his countless contributions, Belgrano lived out his last days in poverty. He died on 20 June 1820 at his birthplace in Buenos Aires.

Flag Day is more than a celebration of a patriotic symbol; it is a reminder of the legacy of General Manuel Belgrano and the values ​​of freedom, justice and unity that he fervently defended.

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