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Argentine Coast Guard

Prefectura Naval Argentina

Last modified: 2004-12-28 by
Keywords: anchor (blue) | anchors: crossed |
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PNA flag
by Joseph McMillan, 08 Oct 1999
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Origin and description of the flag

The Prefectura Naval Argentina (PNA) is the Argentine maritime law enforcement agency. It grew out of the port captaincies established by the Spanish beginning in 1756 and was established under its current name in 1896.

My translation from an unofficial Spanish language website on the PNA:

The first known distinguishing pennant of the institution was included in the approval of modifications to the signal code by the decree of August 1, 1903, signed by the President of the Republic, General Julio A. Roca, and the Minister of the Navy, Admiral Onofre Betbeder. It consisted of a blue flag with the initials "PM" in white in the center.

In 1924, when that year’s edition of the aforementioned code was approved, the distinguishing flag was modified in favor of that currently used, that is to say a white flag surrounded by a blue border, enclosing two crossed anchors of the same color in the center. It was used only in the bows of vessels of what was then the General Maritime Prefecture until April 25, 1941, when it began to be hoisted on the masts of all the organs and dependencies of the institution as well.

In 1934 the command flags of the top authorities of the institution were established, consisting of the previously described flag with three red five-pointed stars for the National Naval Prefect, two for the National Naval Subprefect, and one star for prefects of zones.
Unfortunately, there’s no indication of how these stars are arranged on the flag.

The PNA website says the following about the badge and flag used by the service:

The current PNA badge — two crossed anchors — had already been used for letter headings at the times of the old Captainships of the Port in Buenos Aires by 1834. On October 6, 1893, it was included — by Decree — as a part of the escutcheon on the front side of the top rank officers’ caps. In 1924, it was incorporated into the PNA insignia, which consisted of a white, blue-bordered flag and two centered anchors in the same colour.
Note in the photo the much darker shade of blue compared to the ensign.

Joseph McMillan, 08 Oct 1999

I noted that Album 2000 omits the Prefectura Naval Argentina (coast guard) flag — something of a surprise.
Joseph McMillan, 03 Feb 2001

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