The Argentinian flag has three equal long white and blue stripes and it’s interesting because there isn’t any technical official meaning to these colors. Many will say that it resembles the sky with blue and the white clouds however many historians will tell you that it’s colored that way to represent royalty towards the House of Bourbon. In the center is the Sun of May emblem historians accredits this emblem to represent the Inca design of the Sun God inti.
Argentina is located on the bottom part of the South American continent bordered by five other countries and the Atlantic to the east. It’s divided into 23 separate provinces and the autonomous capital city of Buenos Aires. Argentina borders are not much complex except for that one island called Isla Martin Garcia that lies in the Uruguayan waters and shared by both countries otherwise many of Argentina’s borders are actually just natural land barriers such as the Andes Mountains in the west by Chile and in the Misiones province the real piranhas, Iguazu fall and san Antonio rivers and the Uruguayan river for Uruguay and Brazil which gives Argentina a very distinguishable Panhandle kind of like Afghanistan and can even see it from space due to the fact that the land is less cultivated and thanks to natural river borders. It has a more lush green appearance that sticks out in contrast to its neighboring nations but then you get the arbitrary subtle borders over flat land and hills kind of like the ones by Bolivia sometimes mark boldly and sometimes virtually invisible. Where things get really complicated though is in the South more specifically the furthest south. Tierra del Fuego or the Land of Fire which is pretty ironic considering that it’s actually one of the coldest places in all of Argentina was named after the fires that Magellan saw the native tribes using on the land when he discovered the area in the 16th century. It is the smallest province in all of Argentina and it’s actually an island that they share with Chile.
On this island, Argentina has a population that far surpasses Chile’s by about nineteen times and for a while had the world’s southernmost city with Ushuaia established in 1884. However Chile didn’t back down from the fight and in the 1950s built a small little establishment just a few miles south across the beagle channel named Puerto Williams or Cabo de Hornos named after the Cape Horn and hence with a population slightly over 3,000 and even their own little airport Chile just barely beat Argentina in having the world’s most southern town. However, where things get complicated is who has sovereignty over the Islas Malvinas Island. If you ask an Argentine they’ll tell you that these islands are called the Islas Malvinas and that the island totally belongs to them. They have even named an entire stadium and an airport after the islands to reflect the sovereign claim that they have over the islands. However, if you ask a British person they’ll tell you that these islands are a collectivity of islands made up of the Falkland Islands in the West, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands not to be confused with the Sandwich Islands which was the name originally given to the Hawaiian Islands.
Argentina claims that after gaining independence from Spain in 1816 the islands were given to them from the Spanish Empire and the British came in in 1830 and forcibly pushed out the Argentine’s that had settled there and barred them from ever coming back. However, the British claim that there were the ones that discovered the islands in the 17th century even though technically the French were the first ones to actually colonize the Island and either way they have a permanent population of about 3,000 people that live on the islands that are British nationals that were born and raised on the island. Eventually tensions rose and they went to war over the islands in 1982. The UK was able to fight off the Argentine troops and hold on to the islands although Argentina still doesn’t recognize the UK sovereign claim. It’s kind of funny though because in 2009 former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown actually met up with argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and when it came to the Falkland Island thing they just kind of awkwardly said they wouldn’t talk about it.
Argentina is one of the most diverse countries in terms of landscape in almost every corner you see something that is completely different from the opposite corner that you were just at. In the north by Brazil and Paraguay you can find rainforests and lush humid tropics zones, in the interior and the Midwest you can find flat pop ups and farmlands and Hills, in the West by Chile you find the mountains with the highest point being Mount Aconcagua which is the highest mountain in all of South America, in the east by the Atlantic you can find nice coastal beaches, a little bit further south you can find ranches and mineral mines and a little bit further south from that you can find cold and chilly rocky deserts and cacti in the Patagonia region and petrified wood forest such as the one in Ormachea. If you go even further south into the end of the Patagonia region you can find glaciers and ice this is the coldest part of Argentina. This is interesting though because the southern part of South America has what you would probably call a reverse double rain shadow effect in which wind currents cause the moisture to stay in the north part of Argentina making the north part of Chile a desert and the complete opposite in the South in which Argentina becomes a desert and Chile has a lush green interior.
Argentina was actually originally colonized because the settlers thought that the land would be rich in silver hence where Argentina gets its name in Latin the word Argentum which means “Silver” however in a weird turn of events Argentina was actually rich in almost every single mineral except silver. Zinc, Copper and Lead can be found in various mines all over however Argentina is especially rich in Boron making Argentina the third largest Boron producer in the world after Turkey and the USA.
Argentina has a population of about 41 million people or roughly the same as the country of Sudan. The Argentines have a saying “Los Argentinos decienden de los Barcos” translated to English as the Argentines descended from the boats meaning that Argentina is almost completely and entirely a country of immigrants. Argentina can actually disputably be considered as the widest country in all of South America. It’s kind of hard to distinguish the specific percentages though because many Argentine census reports don’t really factor in race too often but even the most conservative estimates put Argentina at somewhere around 85 to 95 percent European. Believe it or not about half of the Argentinian population is Italian or at least partial Italian in their descent.
Floods of people from the Italy emigrated in the 19th and 20th centuries to avoid economic turmoil in the mother country and saw Argentina as a way to rebuild their lives. Spain of course plays into that mix as well and about 17% of the people identify as French and about 8% German with the remaining European groups coming from a slew of countries like Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands and so on. Interestingly enough if you go to the Chubut province in the south you can actually find a town of about 50,000 Welsh people called Y WLADFA GYMREIG. A good portion of these people are actually fluent in Welsh making Argentina one of the few places in the world where you can actually find a genuine Welsh community with instituted facilities that speak Welsh as a main language. Things get a little fuzzy though when it comes to the natives, although people who identify as full-blooded Amerindian only make up about 2% of the population about 9% of the population identified as mestizo or mixed between Amerindian and European.
However a recent study by geneticist Daniel Korach has theorized that over half of the entire population of Argentina probably has at least one ancestor that was Amerindian. Argentina actually used to have a surprisingly large black population especially during the colonial days and at one point during Spanish colonization blacks actually made up 1/3 of the entire population. However after independence, the population of blacks sharply declines due to a number of factors such as epidemics, anti African legislation in the early years and many of them emigrated to more African friendly nations like Paraguay and Brazil. Today they make up less than 1% of the entire population however; they have definitely left their mark on Argentine culture with contributions to art music and arguably the inception of the tango.
When it comes to culture, Argentina has a very defined and nationalistic approach to how they operate and view in life. They like to keep things classy but in their own Argentinian way distinct from the European Way. The last thing an Argentinian would want to hear you say is “You are so Spanish”. Argentina also has a huge wine culture as they are the fifth largest producer of wine in the world and they’re very heavy on soccer or football and basketball with an impressive amount of players already having been drafted in the NBA such as Andres Nocioni. Speaking of international trade offs, since its independence Argentina has gone through a lot of crazy times. Argentina was part of the Spanish Empire as well as many of her neighbor nations however when an empire collapses internal conflict ensues. In post-colonial independent times, Argentina has had Wars and battles with every single one of her neighbor nations except for Uruguay. Today Argentina gets along pretty well with her siblings even though she adopted different trade policies from many of them.
When it comes to Spain, Argentina definitely does not have post-colonial Stockholm syndrome. Even though Argentines do love the Spanish people they just don’t like the Spanish government. However, when it comes to their best friends Argentina would might probably consider Uruguay and Italy their best friends. Uruguay has a very similar demographic and culture to the Argentine’s and they have been very close for as long as their country’s conceptions. Some might even argue that Uruguay is kind of like the cute little sidekick of Argentina and of course Italy is definitely a huge player in the Argentinian clique not only do over half of the people in Argentina identify with Italy ethnically but many of the major and most important companies in Argentina are an Italian based such as IVECO, Pirelli and telecom. In conclusion, Argentina might not exactly be the country of silver that it was originally thought to be but the spirit of the people with their fierce culture and passion definitely makes them look golden.