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Santa Cruz Province (Argentina)

Provincia de Santa Cruz

Last modified: 2008-05-24 by
Keywords: santa cruz | provincia de santa cruz | waves: 3 | mountain | stars: southern cross | sun: setting | sun (blue) | sun: 19 rays | chaltén | fitz roy | arenillas (santiago sebastián) |
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[Province of Santa Cruz flag]
image by Santiago Sebastián Arenillas (designer of the flag), 24 May 2002
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Presentation of the province

The province of Santa Cruz is located in the South of continental Argentina. Tierra del Fuego is the big island located south of the continent.

Santa Cruz meaning, Holly Cross, is one of the newest Argentine provinces. It was a National Territory until 1957.
Francisco Gregoric, 18 Feb 2007


Description of the flag

Today it was first hoisted the new provincial flag of the Argentine Province of Santa Cruz. The flag is celeste (sky blue) with white waves on dark blue in the lower part (similar to the Kiribati flag) with a yellow sun. Whitin the sun is the Cerro El Chaltén [also called Fitz Roy] and the Southern Cross [Constellation], as in the coat of arms. The flag won a contest in 26-8-2000. The winner was Santiago Sebastián Arenillas.
Jaume Ollé, 12 Oct 2000

The design of this flag attempts to reflect the main characteristics of our land, of our geography, because it is mostly by the landscape that surrounds that we are defined as santacruceños, what makes us feel as an important part of Argentina yet not always remembered.

The light blue represents the same sky under which Manuel Belgrano created our national flag, the sun is both a symbol of divinity for the native Indians as a patriotic sun. It’s a raising sun, symbol of the youth of this province. A half circle contains the night, the Southern Cross and the Cerro Chaltén [Mount Chaltén], emblems of the Aónikenk, ancient race that lived on this southern land.

The sea that bathes our provincial shores from north to south, which feeds life to the east of our territory is represented on the lower part in white and blue waves.

The union of these elements tries to point out the nexus between the past and the present, the history that we are still writing. The dimensions of our geography, the never ending limits of our sky, our sea, our land. Because everything seems to be far but nature itself, the immensity that surrounds us and remains there at the reach of our hands and inside the heart and eyes of everyone who witnesses this latitudes.

The Flag of the Provincia de Santa Cruz was first raised on October 12th of 2000 at El Chaltén, town of 200 habitants located at the feet of the Cerro from which took its name.

Santiago Sebastián Arenillas (designer of the flag), 24 May 2002

Another flag with three shades of blue on it.
John Ayer, 13 Oct 2000

The flag of Santa Cruz province is shown in the movie Historias minimas, by Carlos Serón (2002). The movie is a Patagonian road-movie, which depicts, in a very sensible and humoristic manner, two days in the life of a few inhabitants of Fitzroy who go to San Julian, 300 km southwards, via the Patagonian road. One of the characters stops at a kind of check point (rather an information booth because the policeman does not seem to be prepared to check anything) at the entrance of a small city. The booth has the provincial flag hoisted over the roof.
Ivan Sache, 31 May 2003

The central mountain in both the flag and the coat of arms of Santa Cruz is Mount Fitz Roy or Mount Chaltén (Chaltén is the indigenous name and it is the name usually heard nowadays). There is even a really very popular folk song in the Patagonia dedicated to the Chaltén.

The Coat of Arms (or emblem) of the Province was designed in 1959, predating the flag that was adopted in 2000. We see the image of the mount in both, the arms and the flag. However in the coat of arms the mount appears in a more nature-like representation, while in the flag we see a more stylized image of the mount. The constellation of the Southern Cross also appears in both, the coat of arms and in the flag as well.
Francisco Gregoric, 10 Jul 2005

The Aonikenk referred by Mr. Arenillas are one of the local indigenous people from the area of present day Santa Cruz Province. They are usually and erroneously known as "Tehuelche", which is a Mapuche word to describe other indigenous neighbors like the Aonikenk and others.
Francisco Gregoric, 18 Feb 2008

Flag law

The provincial flag was adopted in November 23, 2000 by Law No. 2566 of the local legislature. The proposal of the bill was sent by Governor Néstor Kirchner. The law text appears below, first in Spanish and afterwards, the English translation:

English translation:

Law text sent by Dr. Miguel Carrillo Bascary and translated by Francisco Gregoric and Gus Tracchia 18 Feb 2008

Other sites: Sources: Other sources:

Provincial coat of arms

[Province of Santa Cruz coat of arms]
image by Francisco Gregoric, 18 Feb 2008

The coat of arms was adopted by Law No. 97 of September 25, 1959. The snowy mountain cap represent Mount Fitz Roy [or Chaltén], with the Constellation of the Southern Cross Constellation on the upper side of it, marking the southern latitude of the province. The full sun indicates the luminosity of the region.
On October 9, 1959 the coat of arms was officially proclaimed and that date was designated as "Day of the Provincial Coat of Arms".
Jaume Ollé, 05 Sep 2000, translated by Francisco Gregoric, 10 Feb 2008

The full sun has 12 straight rays and 12 wavy rays as defined by law. However, wrong reproductions of the coat of arms with different number of rays could be seen.

The scroll of the Santa Cruz coat of arms is purple. Sometimes it is wrongly represented in red or blue, but purple is the correct color. The name of the province appears inside in golden letters.
Francisco Gregoric, 18 Feb 2008

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