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Lago Argentino Department, Santa Cruz Province, Argentina

Last modified: 2021-12-24 by rob raeside
Keywords: lago argentino department | santa cruz province | argentina |
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El Calafate Municipality

[El Calafate municipal flag] image by Francisco Gregoric, 07 May 2008

The Municipality of El Calafate in the Province of Santa Cruz, Argentina, adopted a flag.
Valentin Poposki, 26 Aug 2006

The town of El Calafate is located at south western part of the Province of Santa Cruz, at 320 Km of Río Gallegos, capital of the province, and next to the Lago Argentino.

It had 6,410 inhabitants as per the last census (2001). The place is a very important center of international tourism, because the town is near the Parque Nacional Los Glaciares (Glaciers National Park). In the area near El Calafate two important glaciers can be seen: the Perito Moreno Glacier (named for Francisco Pascasio Moreno [1852-1919], an Argentine explorer, naturalist and scientist) and the Uppsala Glacier (named for the Swedish University of Uppsala that first studied this glacier in 1908).

The flag of El Calafate has two shades of sky blue. It has wavy lines at bottom that probably stand for the Lago Argentino. At the center, a white iceberg appears. During summer, it is common to see small icebergs coming from the glaciers of the area, floating in Lago Argentino.

Above the glacier, the representation a plant with thorns and purple fruits appears. This is the calafate bush (Berberis buxifolia) that gives its name to the town. The fruit of this plant is similar to the blueberry. The legend says that someone who tries this fruit or the jam made of it, it will keep coming back to the region.

Once again we see the Southern Cross constellation, which so far is a constant in the flags of the region.

The flag has two common features with the provincial and municipal flags of Santa Cruz: the wavy lines below simulating water, and the Southern Cross.
Francisco Gregoric, 07 May 2008

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El Chaltén Municipality

[El Chalten municipal flag] image by Ivan Sache, 22 Nov 2010

The village of El Chaltén (324 inhabitants in 2001), founded on 12 October 1985 by Provincial Law No. 1771, is the youngest village in Argentina. The village was created to assert territorial claims on the region of Desert Lake, disputed with Chile since 1965. Effective settlement of the place started in 1987, while the dispute was eventually settled in 1994 by an international committee. The village is named for the mountain known in Tehuelche as the "Smoking Mountain" (Chaltén), renamed in 1837 Monte Fitz Roy by Pascasio Moreno.

The gate of the Glaciers National Park (founded in 1937 and registered in 1981 on UNESCO's World Heritage List), El Chaltén was proclaimed Argentina's "Trekking National Capital".

The flag of El Chaltén was hoisted on 12 October 2010, during the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the foundation of the village. It had been unveiled on the previous evening during the village's festival.

The flag is horizontally divided light blue-pink-light blue, with a white fimbriation between the stripes. The upper stripe is charged with the Southern Cross, in yellow. The central stripe is charged with a mountainous skyline. The lower stripe is charged with two blue rivers.

Light blue and white represents, as the national colors, the struggle for the defence of the national territory.
Pink represents the color of the mountains surrounding the village.

The Southern Cross, placed 30 degrees over the horizon, is the emblem of the Aonikenk, the first inhabitants of the place [the Aonikenk, extinct for long, were the southernmost Tehuelche / Patagons.] The mountainous skyline represents Cerro Torre and Monte Fitzroy, recalling that the village is a main center of trekking and mountain-climbing. The rivers represent the confluence of rivers Fitz Roy and De las Vueltas, where the village was built.

The flag was designed by Edgar Benard Bacci, whose proposal was selected on 2 September among 43 entries. The contest, announced on 5 August 2010 with deadline on 27 August 2010, was open to all villagers. The use of light blue and white, recalling the flags of Argentina and Santa Cruz, was mandatory.
Ivan Sache, 22 Nov 2010

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