Spain flag meaning: Spain Flag | Spanish Flag

Spain Flag | Spanish Flag

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¡Hola, amigo! ¿Cómo estás? The Spain flag colors are as vibrant as its rich culture and traditions. The lively colors are a tribute to the values that the country and its people hold dear. The red represents strength and valor, while the yellow symbolizes generosity. The coat of arms pays homage to the original kingdoms that united to form Spain in the 15th century.

Use the Spain national flag to celebrate your Spanish heritage, cheer on your favorite sports teams, or welcome international travelers. This American-made flag is constructed of durable, fast-drying nylon and a strong canvas header with brass grommets for outdoor use. If you are looking to display the flag indoors, the sleeve & gold fringe finish is designed specifically for this use. The proper method for displaying an indoor flag is on an oak indoor display pole.

  • Made in America
  • Authentic design
  • 100% nylon
  • Extra stitching to prevent fraying
  • Polyester canvas heading*
  • Brass grommets*

*Flags with pole sleeve and fringe should be used on our indoor mounting sets. These flags are not designed for hanging on wall or outdoor flagpoles. Any flag with pole sleeve & fringe is finished with lined pole sleeves, leather tabs, and golden yellow fringe on 3 sides.

 PLEASE NOTE: The 12″ x 18″ flag is the the civil flag, it does not have the coat of arms.

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  • Spanish National Anthem — «La Marcha Real» (ES/EN)

    National Anthem of Spain — «La Marcha Real» (The Royal March)
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Motto: «Plus Ultra» / «Further Beyond»
Capital: Madrid
Language(s): Spanish, Catalan
Currency: Euro €
Government: Monarchy
Flag Meaning: The red represents strength and valor, the yellow symbolizes generosity, and the coat of arms is from the original Spanish kingdoms.

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Flag of Spain – Colors, Meaning, History ??

Flag of Spain – Colors, Meaning, History ??

The flag of Spain is a symbol of national pride and the rich history of the country. It was adopted in 1978 after King Charles III ordered a change in the flag. The flag of Spain features three horizontal lines of alternating red-yellow-red stripes, with the middle stripe consisting of the Spanish insignia. Although the flag is simple in design, it holds immense significance, and its colors are shrouded in legend.

Table of Contents

  • History of the flag of Spain
  • What is the meaning behind the colors of the flag of Spain?
  • Interesting facts about the flag of Spain

History of the Flag of Spain

The flag of Spain was adopted in 1978. Before the adoption of the flag, Spain used a banner with a white background and the Kingdom’s coat of arms at the center. However, this flag was often confused with flags of other regions. Hence, King Charles III decided to change the flags used on Spanish warships and ordered for a competition from which the best design for the flag would be adopted. During this competition, 12 finalists were selected, and only one design impressed the king. This design consisted of two red stripes and a yellow one in the middle.

Before 1978, Spain had a long history of using different flags. In 1469, the Catholic monarchs of Castile and Aragon were unified by marriage, and as a result, the kingdom of Spain adopted a flag that symbolized the unification of the two houses. This flag consisted of the heraldic symbols of the two Iberian realms. This involved merging the Castile insignia that consisted of the lion and the castle, as well as the Aragon insignia that was composed of red and yellow stripes.

In the early years of the 16th century, Archduke Philip of Austria married Joanna of Castile, which led to the adoption of a new flag. The new flag had a white background with a Cross of Burgundy at the center that was touching the four corners of the flag. The marriage was purely for political reasons as Spain intended to deter French incursions. After Joanna was declared insane, Philip sought to adopt a flag that would honor his father’s Habsburg’s heritage. This is what led to Spain’s adoption of the Cross of Burgundy, which represented the Burgundy dynasty. During this time, flags representing the nation had a white background whereas flags representing royalty had a yellow background.

The Cross of Burgundy represented Spain from the 17th to the 18th century. Later versions were combined with the arms of royalty. When Charles I came to power, for instance, a coronela consisting of yellow silk and an imperial shield accompanied the cross. At the time, the concept of a national flag did not exist. Hence, each Spanish cavalry had its unique design of the flag. The flag of Santiago, for example, consisted of a red background with the Spanish emblem. For instance, the Bourbonic royal banner of the early 18th century was different from that of the late 18th century with the addition of a royal ribbon at the bottom of the emblem.

Later, Philip III commissioned the design of a flag that could be identified at sea. This resulted in the adoption of the flag with two horizontal red stripes and a yellow line at the center consisting of the royal emblem. The colors of the flag resembled those of the former Kingdom of Castile and Leon. However, the colors did not resemble those of any foreign monarchy. Later, in 1785, naval ships adopted this new flag. This banner proved to be very useful in the sea that in 1793, it was decided that it would also appear in ports and marine forts. By 1843, it was considered a national flag and was in use even on land.

Towards the late 18th and early 19th century, anti-monarchical ideas were strife. In 1870, Queen Isabella II was forced to abdicate in favor of the Italian born Amadeo I. After three years of ruling, Amadeo declared Spain ‘ungovernable’ and abdicated. Spain ceased being a monarchy and became a republic. The only difference of the flag was the removal of the royal emblem. In 1874, a royalist coup d’etat ushered in the rule of King Alfonso XII, and the old flag was restored up until the 20th century with the resurgence of socialist ideology.

In 1923, Spain was under martial law. The country was fractured with ideologies of anarchy, socialist, republican, and communist. In 1931, the republican movement won the elections and prompted the abdication of King Alfonso XII. After this, Spain became a republic once again. The flag of the Second Spanish Republic consisted of a tricolor red, yellow, and violet. The flag symbolized that every Spaniard would be represented in the government.

For most of the 1930s, Spain experienced internal conflict. The country was torn by civil war between the Soviet-backed communist and the fascist group on the other side. Towards the end of 1939, a military coup occurred, and Francisco Franco became the leader of Spain. The flag of Francoist Spain restored the initial two red horizontal stripes and a yellow stripe at the center. The emblem of the flag consisted of a new coat of arms, with the Saint John Eagle in the background of the Coat of Arms. However, when Franco died in 1975, King Juan Carlos I came to power. In 1977, the flag was slightly adjusted with the eagle’s wings appearing relaxed, with the country’s motto was lifted above its head.
In 1978, the emblem consisting of Saint John’s eagle was removed altogether. A new coat of arms was instituted in 1981. Since then, there have been no changes to the national flag.

What is the meaning behind the colors of the Flag of Spain?

The flag of Spain is made up of colors red and yellow. There are several legends about the colors. According to one legend, the colors were selected to represent the Spanish tradition of bullfighting. Red represents the blood spilled by the bulls whereas the yellow represents the sand in the bullfighting arena. A second legend claims that the yellow represents the sun, whereas the red represents the bloodshed by the Spanish people.

The flag was in use in the 18th century. At the time, the colors represented King Ferdinand II. To date, there is no official symbolism for the colors. However, Spain is the first country to use the colors red and yellow in Europe. Some historians argue that color selection was influenced by the flag used by Pedro III of Aragon in his war against Anjou for Sicily from 1282-1285. Many of King Charles III officials were from Aragon. Others argue that there was no specific meaning intended in the color selection. Instead, the flag was adopted so that Spanish naval ships could be easily identified from other warships. To some, the color red represents hardiness, strength, and bravery, whereas the yellow represents generosity.

The flag’s emblem is made up of a combination of six coats of arms. It features a golden castle on a red background, a red-crowned lion on a white background, vertically running red and yellow stripes similar to the banner of the house of Aragon. There’s also a golden chain link, a flower of the lily (fleur-de-lis), and a pomegranate flower at the center. The coat of arms appears with a set of pillars of Hercules with a banner covering both the inscription and the pillars. The words “plus ultra” (further beyond) appear on the banner and above the coat of arms is a large red and gold crown.

The coat of arms was adopted during the reign of King Charles when Christopher Columbus had started his extensive exploration of the Americas. The coat of arms is a symbol of the nation’s sovereignty. It is used by the legislative Cortes Generales, the Government, the Supreme court, and the Constitutional court.

The flag is of a length to width ratio of 2:3. The yellow stripe at the center is twice the width of each of the red lines. The coat of arms makes up 2/5th of the width of the flag and appears off-centered towards the flag post. There are instances where the emblem appears at the center.

There are exceptions to the proportion of the flag. The flag in Madrid, for instance, has the length to width ratio of 7:11, Castile-La-Mancha’s flag is 1:2, whereas Basque country has the proportions 14:25. When the banner appears in its usual 2:3 dimension, then the vertical axis of the coat of arms appears at a distance of ½ the flag’s width.

Interesting Facts about the Flag of Spain

  • The flag of Spain is nicknamed “la Rojigualda.”
  • Government offices are expected to hoist the flag 24/7.
  • If the flag is hoisted among other flags, then it must be of equal proportions with the rest of the banners and must be raised in an honorable position.
  • In the coat of arms, the castle represents the royal family of Castille, while the lion represents the kingdom of Leon. Additionally, the linked chains represent the Kingdom of Navarre, while the pomegranate fruit symbolizes the Moorish kingdom of Granada. Moreover, the alternating four red and five alternating yellow stripes represent the royal family of Aragon. All these are badges of former Spanish empires. Lastly, the pillars of Hercules represent Gibraltar and Ceuta, which are some of the most beautiful places in Spain.
  • The Civil flag can be used without the Coat of Arms.
  • During times of grief, the flag is flown at half-mast and a black ribbon is sometimes attached to the flag.
  • When a Spanish youth completes military service, they are required to recite the Jura de Bandera flag oath.
  • Flag etiquette is relatively strict. For instance, disrespecting the flag is forbidden, and the flag should not appear torn, soiled, or damaged.
  • The current colors of the flag are associated with Antonio Valdés y Fernández. He drew up 12 different options for a distinctive flag following the order of Charles III in 1785.

Do you know any other interesting facts about the flag of Spain? Share your thoughts below.

What the flag of Spain looks like and what the colors mean: the history of the national flag

Spaniards, as true patriots of their country, are sensitive to official state symbols, in particular, to their flag, which the Spanish people poetically call «rojigualda». In its modern form, the flag of the kingdom has existed for thirty-seven years, since the date of approval by King Juan Carlos I.

Description and parameters

The current flag of the Kingdom of Spain looks like a three-stripe panel. On its central horizontal strip, the modern Spanish coat of arms is depicted with an offset to the shaft. The yellow, largest stripe is in the middle of the flag. Two red ones — below and above the yellow one, each of them is half the size of the central one.

The geometric proportions of the Spanish character are :

  • The ratio of the width of the cloth to its length is 2:3.
  • Yellow stripe occupies 50% of the canvas.
  • Two red — 25% of the flag fabric.
  • The position of the country’s coat of arms on the yellow stripe — at a distance of 1/3 from the left edge of the flag.

Available in two versions :

  • The simplified version is a three-striped canvas without a coat of arms. This type is used privately.
  • The full version is used for official purposes and differs from the above version by the presence of a coat of arms on the flag field.


The flag has an unofficial name — «rojigualda» (rojigualda) . This word is formed by the merger of two words that directly indicate the flag colors: rojo in Spanish is red, and gualda is a shade of mignonette growing in Spanish territories.

In addition, the word «mignon» in heraldry originally denoted a dark yellow color shade. The fact is that in the Middle Ages mignonette was used as a dye plant: fabrics were dyed yellow using mignonette juice.

This name can be literally translated as “red-resed”, so it is fully justified by the color scheme, which has not changed for several centuries.

Justification of colors and proportions

The appearance of the three-striped yellow-red flag is associated with historical legends that explain its colors :

  • XVIII century) chose a yellow cloth as a flag for his kingdom, reminiscent of the sand of the arena where the bullfight takes place. Dipping his hands in a goblet of bull’s blood, the king drew two bright red stripes on the cloth.
  • According to another version, the Aragonese king Gottfried Berenger, after the victory over the Moors, ran his bloody fingers over the surface of his golden shield, leaving traces-stripes on it as a sign of the end of hostilities.

Be that as it may, one thing is certain: it is these two colors that are the heraldic colors of medieval Aragon and Castile, the kingdoms that united and laid the foundation for a single state — Spain.

The warm scale of the cloth, so suitable for a hot country, undoubtedly corresponds to heraldic standards, because according to them :

  • Red is a symbol of courage, fearlessness, bravery, strength;
  • Gold is a color that represents power, wealth, as well as justice and generosity.

The red color on the flag of Spain denotes the blood of the Spaniards shed in the wars for the Fatherland, and is also associated with the blood shed in bullfighting. Yellow is associated with both the sun and the sand of the arena, where the bullfighter fights with the bull.

The width of the stripes and their horizontal position also have their justification :

  • The middle stripe has been enlarged from the other two to accommodate the coat of arms. In addition, against a yellow background, the coat of arms stood out and was clearly visible;
  • Horizontal stripes — a sign of the unification of small countries into a single state under the rule of the Habsburg dynasty.

The appearance of the coat of arms on the flag

The current Spanish coat of arms is placed on the flag of the kingdom. The coat of arms is divided into four parts: a yellow castle on a red background and a red lion on a white background at the top represent Castile and León, respectively. In the lower part — red-yellow vertical stripes and connected gold chains — this is the symbol of Aragon and Navarre. At the base of the shield is a pomegranate, the symbol of Andalusia.

The lilies in the center are the Angevin branch of the Bourbons. The crown crowning the coat of arms is a sign of the monarchy. The Pillars of Heracles is the Strait of Gibraltar.

Historical flags of Spain

There are several significant dates and periods in the history of the formation of the Spanish national flag.

1415 — equal horizontal stripes of red and yellow — this is how the standard of Aragon looked.

Cross of Burgundy

The Spanish naval flag from 1506 to 1701 featured a red cross of Burgundy (two diagonal branched stripes) on a white field, which was originally the official symbol of Castile. Under Philip II, at the end of the 16th century, the white background of this flag was changed to yellow.

Flag of the Bourbons

XVII-XVIII centuries. — The flag of Spain was the white cloth of the Bourbons with a coat of arms applied to it. The reason for its replacement was the similarity with the flags of other countries, the indistinguishability of the standard at sea, and the impossibility of identifying it as Spanish.

To the modern version

1785 — Charles (Carlos) III of Bourbon ordered to use the flag corresponding to the modern version without the coat of arms as a commercial standard, and the same version with the coat of arms — as a military one (on Spanish ships). In this form, the flag existed until 1931

First Spanish Republic

In the short period of the First Spanish Republic (1873-1874), the crown as a symbol of royal power was removed from the coat of arms of the flag, and the color scheme did not change even during this period.

Second Spanish Republic

1931 -1936 — flag of the Second Spanish Republic: three-striped flag with equal stripes of red, yellow, violet / purple (from top to bottom). It is believed that the lower stripe represents Castile on the flag. On the yellow stripe was placed a shield, divided into four parts, with columns of Hercules and a crown in the form of a castle.

Under Francisco Franco

1938 — 1981 — the colors of the flag are the same, pre-revolutionary. Instead of the coat of arms during this period, it was adorned with a black eagle with a shield — a symbol of the reign of F. Franco. The image of the eagle changed several times: in 1938, 1945, 1977.

And in 1981 the modern version was approved.

Thus, the changes in the flag of Spain concerned mainly the coat of arms depicted here (in connection with the change in the forms of government in the country), and its color palette remained constant for a long time, except for the years of the Second Revolution.

Interesting facts

  • There is a date that the Spaniards consider the date of the appearance of their national symbol — May 28, 1785. On this day, a competition was held to design the military and commercial flag of Spain by Charles III.
  • Since 1908, it has been permitted by royal decree to decorate the private houses of Spanish citizens and public buildings with flags during national Spanish holidays. Before that, hanging Spanish banners was allowed only in strictly defined places specified in the law.
  • Only in 1927 the yellow-red flag was officially approved as the national symbol of the country.
  • Since 1936, under the decree of Franco, the flag with the coat of arms acts simultaneously as the state and civil maritime flag.

Since 1981, the symbol of Spain, beloved by the Spaniards and unlike any other in the world, has been fluttering on Spanish houses during national festivities and in stadiums during sports competitions. The symbol, which has such a long history of existence and is distinguished by its unchanged color scheme, is recognizable in all countries as the flag of the Kingdom of Spain.

Flag of Spain: photo, colors, meaning, history

Author Alexander To read 6 min Views 4.8k. Posted by Updated

The flag is the most recognizable symbol of the country. The history of its creation is inseparable from the history of the state itself. The Spanish flag has undergone many changes and witnessed many coups d’état before being embodied in the one that is well known to us and bears the beautiful name of Rohigualda.

The modern flag of Spain looks like this:

Flag of Spain


  1. Flag History
  2. Description
  3. Flag Color
  4. Flag Symbol
  5. Total information about Spain
  6. 906 Flag History 9000

    The first flags flying in the territory of modern Spain belonged to the warring Muslims and crusaders. Then the flags served to designate the personal troops of kings or lords. They were not a symbol of the Spanish nation, but served as the progenitors of the idea of ​​​​creating a national flag.

    In the 16th century, Queen Juan I of Castile marries Philip the Handsome, Archduke of Austria, and the first Spanish flag, a red Burgundian cross on a white background, appears to commemorate this event. It symbolizes the unification of Castile — a snow-white field and a royal branched, also called stumpy, cross. This design, with minor changes, remained the symbol of Spain until 1713, when the Bourbon dynasty began to rule the country.

    Cross of Burgundy

    With the ascension to the throne of Philip V, the first representative of the Bourbon dynasty in Spain, the image on the flag changes dramatically. The Bourbon family coat of arms is located on a white cloth, the same flag was used by the Bourbons in France.

    • Flag of the Bourbons 1701 — 1760
    • Flag of the Bourbons 1760-1785

    The close-to-modern look of the Spanish flag was selected from twelve designs made at the request of King Charles III in 1785. At that time, Spain was still under the control of the Bourbon dynasty, and all the countries under its rule, France, Parma, Tuscany, the two Sicilies, had the same kind of flag: white, with the Bourbon coat of arms in the center. This created great confusion at sea, because from a great distance it was impossible to distinguish who exactly the ship belonged to.

    On May 28, 1785, Charles III held a competition for the best design of a flag for military and merchant ships. The Spaniards consider this day to be the birthday of their national flag.

    Flag of Spain 1785-1873

    In practice, the flag existed in this form until 1931.

    In 1931, in connection with the proclamation of the Republican government, the current flag of Spain was canceled and replaced with a version with three stripes: red, yellow and purple, the same in width. Eight years later, after the civil war, the republic was overthrown, and the old flag returned to use.

    Flag of Spain 1931-1936

    Separately, it is worth mentioning the time when Spain was «under the wing» of the dictator Francisco Franco. From 1938 to 1981, the flag of Spain featured a black eagle, which surrounded the coat of arms on both sides with its large wings. It was a heavy burden when the nationalist regime treated the whole country.

    • Spanish flag with black eagle 1938-1945
    • Spanish flag with black eagle 1945-1977
    • Spanish flag with black eagle 1977-1981

    B 19In 81, the eagle disappeared from the Spanish national flag, Franco died, and Juan Carlos became king of Spain. He brought the country into a democratic regime with parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy and restored the red-yellow-red flag with crowned coats of arms, an oval with lilies in the center and crowned columns on the sides.

    The modern form of the flag of Spain with the coat of arms was officially adopted on December 19, 1981. It is used on land and at sea, as a state, civil and military banner. The state flag must necessarily have the image of the national coat of arms, for the civil flag the coat of arms is not mandatory, but in practice the flag with the coat of arms is used everywhere.


    The Spanish Constitution has official provisions regarding the type of the Spanish flag, introduced on December 19, 1981: «the flag of Spain consists of three horizontal stripes: red, yellow and red, with a yellow stripe twice as wide as each red stripe.» It must contain the symbols of the state emblem, placed at a distance of 1/3 from the flagpole.

    The modern flag of Spain has three horizontal stripes: yellow and two red. The yellow is in the middle and twice as wide as the red stripes framing the flag above and below. The flag’s cloth has a rectangular shape, its sides are related to each other in a ratio of 2:3.

    There are two versions of the Spanish flag: a simplified version and a full version. A simplified version of the flag, without the coat of arms, is used as a civil flag. Almost all fishing boats, passenger ferries, merchant ships and trawlers of Spain have a version of the flag without the coat of arms. But government agencies and members of the administration are required to fly the full version of the flag inside and outside government buildings, military installations and private residences of leaders and their vehicles.

    The coat of arms must always face the same end of the flag on both sides. It should be located on the side of the lift, both on the front and on the wrong side. On the front side there is the usual image of the coat of arms, on the reverse side you can see a mirrored image and an inverted inscription of the motto.

    A vertical image of the flag is also possible: in the port city of Los Cristianos, La Gomera (Canary Islands), a flag hangs with proportions of 3:1, vertically divided by red — yellow — red stripes. The image was designed by Klaus-Michael Schneider and posted March 10, 2010.

    The largest Spanish flag displayed in the Plaza de Colon (Columbus Square) in the center of Madrid in October 2002. Its dimensions are 14 meters wide and 21 meters long. The total area of ​​the cloth is 264 square meters.

    Colors of the flag

    The original designs of the modern flag had variations of red, yellow, white and blue. There is an opinion that yellow and red were chosen in order to preserve the heraldic shades present in the Spanish coat of arms. But, probably, at that time, the choice was also influenced by the cost and availability of raw materials for dyeing.

    The people called the flag «rojigualda», this word consists of two parts: rojo means «red». But the second part of the word — simply means yellow — amarilo, and gualda is the Spanish name for mignonette herb. Mignonette was grown specifically to dye fabrics in an unusual golden yellow color, and the juice of this particular plant dyed the first Spanish flags, and became part of its popular name.

    The meaning of the colors and symbol of the flag

    There is a legend that when the king was choosing a replacement for the old flag, he chose a golden version of the banner, symbolizing the fertility of the Spanish fields. But since the ruler was a passionate fan of bullfighting, he wanted to capture this traditional Spanish game, and ordered the servants to bring him a goblet of bull’s blood to draw two red stripes, symbolizing the blood shed in the arena. So the Spanish flag acquired its present form.

    The country’s coat of arms reflects the territorial parts of Spain: Castile is depicted in the form of a stone castle, Leon, Asturias and Galicia in the form of a lion, Aragon, Catalonia and the Balearic Islands are presented in the form of red-yellow vertical stripes, metal chains represent Navarre.

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