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Mendoza Province (Argentina)

Provincia de Mendoza

Last modified: 2023-07-03 by
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[Province of Mendoza flag]
image by Francisco Gregoric, 22 Mar 2008
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Description of the flag

The Province of Mendoza adopted the historical flag of the Army of the Andes, preserved in the “Flag Hall” of the Government House of Mendoza, as its own provincial flag. That historical flag was used in 1817 by the army commanded by General José de San Martín that crossed the Andes Mountains and Liberated Chile.

Since the Army of the Andes was organized in the Cuyo Intendancy (present day Mendoza, San Juan and San Luis Provinces), the Province of Mendoza decided that this historical national flag would be the perfect one to represent Mendoza among the Argentine provinces.

The idea of using the Andes Army flag design as a provincial flag for Mendoza was originally proposed by Dr. Miguel Carrillo Bascary in an article published in 1989, and later proposed by him to the provincial authorities of Mendoza.
Francisco Gregoric, 22 Mar 2008

The Decree No. 5930, of 1992.10.21, adopts as the Provincial Flag the flag of the Army of the Andes. By this, the legislators are saying that the new provincial flag should be exactly as the historical flag displayed in the “Flag Hall” of the Government House in the City of Mendoza, capital of the province of the same name. The flag is exhibited as a standard or banner. Two horizontal stripes of white over blue. Higher than wide, with the National Coat of Arms at its center. The regulation does not specify how to hoist the flag. Therefore we may think that the proper way should be not on regular pole but from a "T" type pole. Nothing was legislated about the right way of hoisting the flag. The law says nothing about this subject.
Gustavo Tracchia, 07 Feb 2000

The correct sizes are 122 × 144 cm, from a photo of the original flag that I took in a museum.
Fernando Bollana, 17 Jul 2004

The coat of arms in the flag is the same one of the historical Andes Army flag: it is a version of the Argentine national coat of arms with a set of mountains added on the bottom. It is different from the provincial coat of arms of Mendoza.
Francisco Gregoric, 22 Mar 2008

The flag was adopted on October 21, 1992 by law 5930 of the local legislature. However, some details of the flag as its exact colors were not defined there, so the law was modiffied by laws No. 6792 & 6961. The final text appears in Spanish and translated to English:

Flag Law

English translation

(*) Even though the text on article No.1 says that the flag guided the troops in Chile, Perú and Bolivia, the Andes Army flag just participated in the Chilean Campaign.

Law translated by Francisco Gregoric and Gus Tracchia, 22 Mar 2008.

Horizontal version

[Province of Mendoza flag, horizontally hoisted]
image by Francisco Gregoric, 22 Mar 2008

The Law No. 5930 does not explain which it the right way to hoist the provincial flag of Mendoza.

For years it was believed that the historical flag of the Army of the Andes had two vertical stripes flag with the coat of arms displayed sideways. As Gus Tracchia has explained, the 1908 painting El Abrazo de Maipú (by the Chilean artist Pedro Subercaseaux) shows the flag that way. General San Martín and O´Higgins appear embracing each other after the victory of the Battle of Maipu. The most important feature of the painting is that the national flag of Chile and the flag of the Army of the Andes can be seen in the foreground. The Flag of the Andes, with two vertical stripes with the coat of at the center of both stripes but displayed sideways. [see image]

However this painting was done more than 90 years after the battle of Maipú and just the remaining of the flag of the Andes as preserved today was used as model. There is also a lithography of the battle of Maipú made in 1819 where the flag appears as a horizontal stripes of white over light blue and the coat of arms displated in its correct position but closer to the hoist. [see image]

Since the 1960s more research has been done, and nowadays it is believed that the historical Andes Army flag was of two horizontal stripes. But in old texts and drawings in History books, the vertical variant can still be seen.

This and the fact that the text of the law defines the provincial flag of Mendoza of having the "present day dimensions" of the Andes Army flag, the provincial flag would look wider than longer. So, apparently just by a de facto custom it is usually hoisted as a vertical stripes flag with a horizontal coat of arms.
Francisco Gregoric, 22 Mar 2008

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Provincial coat of arms

[Province of Mendoza coat of arms]
image by Francisco Gregoric, 22 Mar 2008

The provincial coat of arms is different from the one that appears in the provincial flag.

The coat of arms of the province of Mendoza was adopted on october 25, 1941 by Law No. 1,450. Before that several variants of coat of arms were used as provincial symbols.

The design is a variant of the Argentine national coat of arms. However the coat of arms of Mendoza has a cornucopia (horn of abundance) at bottom. full of fruits and flowers. It stands for the natural resources of the province. The most important activity of the province (grape plantations and wine production) is clearly represented by the grapes. Wheat and flowers also appear from the cornucopia.

Cornucopias had been used in several variants of coats of arms used by Mendoza before 1941, also.

The 17 rays of the raising sun represent the subdivisions of the province: 16 departments + the capital City of Mendoza.
Francisco Gregoric, 22 Mar 2008

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