Today, Martine and I went for a walk on the spectacular campus of Pepperdine University in Malibu. It was a hot, but crystal-clear day with clear views toward Catalina and Palos Verdes. What was different today was a display of some 3,000 flags, mostly the stars and stripes. I guessed that they represented the students on campus and their country of origin. Instead, it was a commemoration of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, in which 2,996 people died. The non-American flags represented the country of origin of the victims of the Al Qaeda terrorists.
Toward the end of the display, I stopped by a flag of Argentina. At the same time I felt sad for the Argentinian victim of the attack, I felt a warm glow in anticipation of my upcoming trip to Argentina and Chile in November.
It was Manuel Belgrano who designed the flag in Rosario in 1812 during his country’s war of independence from Spain. It was officially accepted as the nation’s official flag at the Congress of Tucumán on July 20, 1816, complete with the stylized image of the sun. An alternate ornamental version of the flag is minus the sun.
At one point last week, I fell afoul of a clique of rabid Little Englander trolls by suggesting that this flag should by rights be flying over the Falkland Islands. I have since decided to moderate my enthusiasm for all things Argentinian and cede the archipelago to the Brits.