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In May 1810 the pro-independence movement initiated the use of the blue and white cockade. It was decreed the national cockade on 18 February 1812, and nine days later a flag in these colours was adopted. The blue and white symbolize the clear skies and snow of the Andes. The sur, added in 1818, is the Sol de Mayo ("May Sun"), the national symbol of Argentina. It commemorates the appearance of the sun in cloudy skies on 25 May 1810, when the first mass demonstration in favour of independence took place.