Argentina: More Nonsenses on Flags and Anthems: May 2017

An Argentine provincial deputy calls for a special flag for the Falkland Islands, only to be slapped down by the Governor of Tierra del Fuego (TDF) asserting that the Falkland Islands were already covered by the flag of TDF province. The TDF Governor also decreed on 8 May that the ‘March of the Malvinas’ should be played at the end of all official engagements and in schools in the province.

A deputy in the Argentine province of Buenos Aires, Juan Jose Mussi, has called for a special flag for the Falkland Islands to be designed and regularly flown so that Argentina’s sovereignty claim could be kept to the forefront of Argentine politics. This was widely seen as a criticism of President Macri’s policy of seeking better relations with the UK (and lowering tensions over what Argentina regards as a sovereignty dispute).

But Mussi was immediately slapped down by the Governor of the Argentine province of Tierra del Fuego, Rosana Bertone. Argentina claims that the British islands in the South Atlantic (and Antarctica) are part of the TDF province. Governor Bertone therefore asserted that the TDF flag, adopted in 1999, already covered the Falkland Islands. The TDF flag includes a rather angular design of a white albatross set against an orange lower background representing the volcanic land of the province and a blue upper section representing the sky and sea, with the stars of the Southern Cross imposed. [Comment: It has nothing to attract the Falkland Islanders who have their own flag and who are proud to be British.]

Governor Bertone, who is a strong supporter of Cristina de Kirchner’s branch of Peronism, also issued a decree on 8 May to insist that the so-called ‘March of the Malvinas’ be played at the end of all official events, civil and military, and in schools, in the province. The March is a patriotic anthem, composed in 1939 after a competition organised by the ‘Malvinas Recovery Commission’. [Comment: Falkland Islanders will have had their fill of it during the Argentine occupation of the Falklands in 1982.]

Falkland Islanders can happily ignore such ephemeral and inconsequential gestures. But they do reveal the real lack of understanding in Argentina about the Falkland Islands and its people.