Sun of May in the flag of Argentina, 1818
Sun of May in the flag of Uruguay, 1830
Sun of May on the first Argentine coin, 1813
Sun of May (Spanish: Sol de Mayo) is a national emblem of
Argentina and Uruguay, and appears on both countries' flags.
4 See also
6 External links
According to the historian Diego Abad de Santillán, the
Sun of May is
a figurative sun that represents Inti, the sun god of the Inca
religion. Worshiped as a patron deity of the Inca Empire,
often linked to the origin and expansion of the Inca
The most common story says that he is the son of Viracocha, the god of
The specification "of May" is a reference to the
May Revolution which
took place in the week from 18 to 25 May 1810, which marked the
beginning of the independence from the
Spanish Empire for the
countries that were then part of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la
Plata. A legend claims that as the new government was proclaimed, the
sun broke through the clouds, which was seen as a good omen.
In Argentina, the
Sun of May is the radiant golden yellow sun bearing
the human face and thirty-two rays that alternate between sixteen
straight and sixteen wavy.
In Uruguay, the
Sun of May is the yellow sun bearing the human face
and sixteen triangular rays that alternate between eight straight and
The sun, called the
Sun of May, is a replica of an engraving on the
first Argentine coin, approved in 1813 by the Constituent Assembly,
whose value was eight escudos (one Spanish dollar).
In form, it is similar to — and may be partially derived from —
the sun in splendour, which is common in European heraldry. This, too,
is usually depicted with a face, and with alternating straight and
wavy rays (representing light and heat respectively), though it
normally has only sixteen rays.
A 1978 law describing the official ceremonial flag of Argentina
specifies that the sun must be golden yellow in color (amarillo oro),
have an inner diameter of 10 cm, and an outer diameter of
25 cm (the diameter of the sun equals 5⁄6 the height of the
white stripe, and the sun's face is 2⁄5 of its height), must
feature 32 rays (16 undulated and 16 straight in alternation), and
must be embroidered in the official ceremonial flag.
^ Steele & Allen 2004, pg. 246
^ D'Altroy 2003, pg. 147
^ Abad de Santillán, Diego (1965). Historia
history] (in Spanish). Buenos Aires: TEA (Tipográfica Editora
Argentina). OCLC 9405703. Unknown ID 2900104629702.
^ Fox-Davies, Arthur Charles (1969). A Complete Guide to Heraldry.
Aylesbury: Thomas Nelson and Sons. p. 222.
^ "Nuestra patria: bandera nacional" [Our fatherland: national flag]
(in Spanish). Argentine Institute of Protocol and Public Relations.
Archived from the original on April 14, 2009. Retrieved November 1,
2011. Es un sol figurado con rostro humano, de color oro amarillo con
treinta y dos rayos: 16 flamígeros apuntando o "girando" en sentido
horario, y 16 rectos colocados alternativamente, según diseño de la
primera moneda argentina.
Media related to
Sun of May at Wikimedia Commons
National symbols of Argentina
National flag (List of flags)
Coat of arms
Sun of May
Himno Nacional Argentino (National anthem)
En unión y libertad
En unión y libertad (Motto)
José de San Martín
José de San Martín (Father of the Fatherland)
Effigy of the Republic -
Gaucho (National personifications)
Ceibo (National tree)
Red Quebracho (National forest tree)
Ceibo flower (Floral emblem)
Hornero (National animal/National bird)
Rhodochrosite (National stone)
Pato (National sport)
Wine (National liquor)
Locro (National dishes)
Our Lady of Luj