The Rio de la Plata (Silver River)
was probably discovered 1501-´02 by Amerigo Vespucci. The next couple of
decennia the eastern coast around the estuary was explored. In 1536 Pedro de
Mendoza founded “Nuestra Señora Santa
Maria del Buen Aire” (Our Lady of the Healthy Air). With this settlement
as its base the country up the river was slowly colonized the next centuries.
Three important centra came into existence: Buenos Aires, Cordoba and
Until 1776 the settlements of
around the Rio de la Plata were a part of the Vice Kingdom of Peru. In that
year they became a Vice Kingdom of its own named La Plata. Soon a movement
came into existence which aimed at more autonomy. It was mainly supported by
those born in Argentina (the name in Latin of Silver Land) and was insipred
by the American and French revolutions and the concepts of Enlightenment. The
movement became many adherants because of the failure of Spanish rule. In
1807 the viceroy had abandoned the country by running away before the
inavding British troops which had landed in Argentina. After Napoleon had
installed his brother Joseph in Spain in 1808, two administrations, the one
of Joseph and the one of Ferdinand VII in exile claimed the Spanish
territories. By the majority of the Argentines both claims were rejected
anticipating a legal regime in Spain. The consequences of this point of view
were taken by an assembly in Buenos Aires on 25 May 1810. An autonomous
administration was founded which de
facto implied a declaration of Independence. In the next few years
Argentine was purged of Spanish troops by general Manuel Belgrano, amongst
others at the Battle of Tucuman (24.09.1812) and Salta (21.02.1813).
Vice kingdom the heraldic emblems of Spain and the Spanish Indies were
A red wall
hangung with the arms of King Philip II has been preserved in the Council Chamber
of the Museo Histórico del Norte in Salta.
Council Chamber in Salta
Buenos Aires there is the achievement of the Supreme Council of the Indies
Arms of the Supreme Council of the Indies
in the Council
Chamber of the Vice Kingdom of Rio de la Plata in Buenos Aires 
viceroys, all noblemen, had their often very complicated family arms. 
At the occasion of the First General
Legislative Assembly sitting after 31 January 1813, a new coat of arms was
provided for. Its origin is unknown. Of its form and meaning no decree or
decision exists in which it is described and explained.  It is for sure however that a
shield with the arms was above the entrance of the building in which the
assembly was held. This shield is preserved in the Museum of National History
in Buenos Aires.
National arms of the Constitutional Assembly of 1813
Anonymous, 65.5Í 57 cm. Museo
Histórico Nacional. Buenos Aires. Inv. Nr. 42.
The seal was mentioned for the
first time in a decree of 31 March 1813 in which the General Assembly
provides that the Supreme Executive Authority will use the same seal as
itself. According to this seal the
arms were made.
Shield an seals are made by the
engraver Juan de Dios Rivera of which it is supposed that he was also the
designer of the arms.
Only the legends of the seals are different. The legend of the
seal of the General Assembly reads: ASEMBLEA G CONSTIT D.L. PROV. UNIDAS DEL R D L PLATA. 1813.
of the Supreme Executive Authority reads: SUP. PODER. EXECUT. D LAS PROV UNIDAS DEL RIO D.L. PLATA 1813.
The arms on the seals and shield
are oval and parted per fess of blue and white. In the middle are two clasped
hands keeping a pole crested with a phrygian cap. Above the shield is a crest
of a rising sun and it is surrounded by a crown of laurel.
In the arms the phrygian cap symbolizes
Liberty and the clasped hand Fraternity. A symbol for Equality to make the
arms representing the principles of the french revolution is missing. The
shield itself symbolizes the country: Silver and a blue sky above. The sun is
the Sun of May which shone on the day that it was decided that an autonomous
government should be founded. The crown by some interpreted as a crown of
laurel and by others as a crown of olive symbolizes Virtue and Perseverance
Æ See illustration in the head of this essay
The arms have never been
changed in its essence neither after the proclamation of Independence on 8
Juni 1816 nor at the reorganisations of the government and the change of name
of the country.
Soon however the coat of arms was
surrounded by external ornaments, thus making an achievement.
The oldest achievement
consists of the coat of arms surrounded by the crown of laurel and four
national flags, being of three stripes blue-white-blue, and two cannon in
saltire and a drum in base.
8 escudo piece, 1813
showing the first Argentinian achievement
In the time of the
Confederation of Argentina and the Rosas regime (1835-´52) the drum was
omitted but some weaponry was added:
8 escudo piece 1838
achievement without drum
after 1825 the achievement was augmented by making the number of flags 2Í6
which was the number of provinces from 1825 until 1836.
new constitution adopted for the Argentine Confederation in
1853 the achievement with the 2Í6 flags was still
Achievement of Argentina
As on the
frontispiece of the Constitution, 1853
the achievement was again augmented by adding two other flags for Jujuy and
Salta which had joined the confederation in 1836. It is generally thought
that this was done after 1861.
the time of the presidency of Nicolas Avellaneda 1874-´80 two different
achievements appeared. The first was another augmentation by adding 2Í3
spears to the 2Í7
second was a simplification of the achievement by reducing the number of
flags to four:
Un patacon, 1879
The oval shield
replaced by a five-cornered shield, the number of flags reduced to four, the
crown of laurel omitted.
the time of the presidency of Julio
Argentino Roca (1880-´86) the spears were omitted but the number of flags
restored to 2Í7.
Achievement of Argentina as on coins 1881
From the time of
the presidency of Luis
Sáenz Peña (1892–‘95) and his successors a version is known
with the number of flags reduced to 2Í3.
In the beginning of the 20th century als
external ornaments but for the crest and the crown were removed. This was
legalized by decree nr. 10.302/44 of 24
April 1944. Section 5 of this decree provides that the arms will be the same
as the arms on the seal of 1813.
Logo of the
The badges of office of the President of
Argentina are a banner, a presidential sash and a staff.
The Presidential Flag
The presidential flag was adopted at an
uncertain date at the end of the 19th century. Until 1904 it was blue witch
the national arms in the middle. In 1904 four white five-pointed stars were added
in the corners. As this flag was mainly used at sea, another flag was used
for vehicles on land. This shows the three stripes of the national flag, the
white charged with the national arms all gold. 
At sea, until 1904
At sea, after 1904
Presidential flag on land
The Presidential Sash
Before 1944 the presidential sash had different
shapes but it always was of the colors of the national flag. In the middle
was the sun radiant, the crest of Argentina but sometimes this was replaced
by the national arms. Its present form was regulated by National Decree N°
10.302/1944 Art. 4 which reads:
Artículo 4º - La Banda que
distingue al Jefe del Estado, autorizada por la Asamblea Constituyente en la
Reforma del Estado Provisorio del Gobierno del 26 de enero de 1814 y
alcanzada por la distinción del 25 de febrero de 1818, ostentará los mismos
colores, en igual posición y el sol de la Bandera Oficial. Esta insignia
terminará en una borla sin otro emblema. Tanto el sol como la borla serán
confeccionados con hilos, con baño de oro, de óptima calidad y máxima
inalterabilidad en el tiempo.
La hoja es de 10 cm
de ancho con tres franjas del mismo ancho, el cielo azul, blanco y azul
cielo. Se hace en una sola pieza de tela hecha en ambos colores.
Ancient Presidential Sashes in
the Casa Rosado Museum
The Pallarols Staff
Showing the thistle flowers
In the Spanish Americas the staff of command was used according to
Spanish ceremonial. It was used by Governors, Viceroys, Captains General, Lieutenants
General and Aldermen of Justice.
The staff is mentioned in 1695 in a decree which established that ‘the
Lieutenant Governors shall not enter the Council with a staff”. The reason
for this measure was that the Council was a civil and not a military authority.
In the Spanish Era the staff of command was of indian cane with a golden
knob engraved with the arms of the city.
In the republican era the staff was used for the first time by the
Supreme Leader of the United Provinces of Rio de la Plata, D. Gervasio
Posadas (1814-’15). From then on it
was an indispensable attribute of the Supreme Leaders and Presidents.
In 1932 the details of the design were established: it had to be made of
rattan or some other fine material, and the knob had to be of 18 ct fine gold
with a length of 8 cm, engraved with the national arms. Its length could depend
of the height of the President himself. When democracy was established the
staff was changed. In 1983 Juan Carlos Pallarols was charged to make the
staff of President Raúl Alfonsin (1983-’89). He had to make a replica of the
staff of 1932 used by José F. Uriburu (1930-’32). Instead, because the
material was extremely difficult to treat and the result would be too much of
an european style, Pallarols proposed:
After his term of office the president has to hand in his staff. Several
of such presidential staffs are preserved in the Casa Rosada Museum. 
Staffs of the presidents Castillo (1942-´43),
Aramburu (1955-´58), Frondizi (1958-´62) and Guido (1962-´63).
In the Casa Rosada
Present Staff (post
Seal of the Ministry of War and the Navy, 19th
ARGENTINA / MINISTERIO DE GUERRA Y MARINA
Ministry of Defense was created 13
Present emblem of the Ministry of Defense
The United Armed Forces Staffs
was created by Law 13.234 of 9 September 1948
Estado Conjunto de las Fuerzas
In the time of Spanish Rule
the achievement of the army consisted of the royal arms surrounded by
weaponry like banners, cannon and drums. This is the achievement of the
Spanish Army in the time of King Charles III and Ferdinand VII.
The achievement of the
Republic of Argentina fits in fact the Republican Army as it displays
national flags and cannon.
Achievement of the Federal Army as on posters and
19th century Cap Badge of the Federal Army
19th century belt buckle of the Federal Army
Early 20th century such
Minister of War until 1958
Present Cap Badge
Commander in Chief of the Army
The flag and arms of the Spanish Navy between
1746 and 1748 was white with the arms of King Philip V for Castile at the
In 1748 the arms were replaced by the arms of
King Charles III and in 1785 by those of Ferdinand VII.
The republican Navy was created 1810 by
decrees of 25 and 30 June.
Minister and Major General of the Navy, end of 19th
of 20th century - 1958
The former anchor replaced
by a foul anchor, a pole crested with a phrygian cap per fess added
Jack (19th century)
Achievement of the Prefecture of the Navy (ancient)
Created 28 July 1938
The Federal Police of Argentina was created
by decree Nr. 17.750 of 24 December 1943, ratified 1 January 1945. It
succeeds the Police of Buenos Aires created 1880.
© Hubert de Vries 2006-06-21 Updated
2009-08-13; 2011-12-12; 2013-04-21
Radaelli, Sigfrido: Blasones de los Virreyes del Rio de la Plata.
 Quesada, Hector C.: El Escudo
Nacional. Buenos Aires, 1933.
 His correspondence about the seals in Quesada,
op cit. pp. 7-9