What does the spanish flag represent: Flag of Spain | Britannica

Flag of Spain – Flag Blog

~ emilyrex

The flag of Spain was officially accepted as part of the Spanish Constitution in 1978, however its origins date back to the Spanish naval flag of 1783. The flag consists of three horizontal stripes: two thin red stripes on the top and bottom of the flag, and one thick yellow stripe that is twice the width of the red stripes.  Slightly to the left on in the yellow stripe is Spain’s coat of arms.

Unlike flags of many other countries, Spain’s flag has remained largely the same since its first uses in the late 18th century.  The one exception to this is during the Second Republic of Spain (1931-1939), when an indigo stripe, symbolizing a new non-monarchic Republic and also the Castile kingdom, stood in place of the bottom red stripe.

The Spanish coat of arms is complex and actually comprised of six other coats of arms.  The top left section of the shield, a gold castle in a red background, symbolizes the kingdom of Castile.   In the 9th through 12 centuries, Castile was an autonomous medieval kingdom.  It unified in 1230 with León.

The red lion in the upper right corner symbolizes León.  León was founded by the Romans in the first century BC and was a military camp in the early first century.  Although the city struggled with Muslim invaders, it remained a Catholic city and officially became a Kingdom in 910.

The red and yellow stripes in the lower left corner symbolize the kingdom of Aragon, a medieval kingdom in the northeast region of Spain, near the French border.

The gold chains in the lower right corner symbolize the kingdom of Navarre, also in the northern region of Spain.  During the Roman Empire, the Vascones occupied this region, maintaining their language and traditions despite the Roman rule.  In 1513, Castile conquered the southern part of Navarre.  Although the northern part of the kingdom remained independent for several decades, it voluntarily joined with France in 1589 and actually became part of the French Kingdom in 1620.

The pomegranate flower comes from the kingdom of Granada.  Granada lies at the base of the Sierra Nevada mountains and at the merging point of the Beiro, Darro, and Genil Rivers.  Due to its strategic location, Granada is the oldest of the cities represented on the Spanish flag, and was part of the ancient Ibeo-Celtic, Phoenician, and Carthagenian settlements, and later part of the Greek and Roman empires.

Finally, the fleur-de-lis, in the center of the shield, represents the House of Bourbon.  Bourbon rulers controlled Navarre beginning in 1555.  The House of Bourbon, however, dates back to the early 13th century and Bourbon kings, including Henry IV, Louis XIII-XVIII, and Charles X ruled France and Navarre until the French Revolution in 1792.

The Pillars of Hercules are on either side of the coat of arms and the phrase “plus ultra,” meaning “further beyond,” appears on a banner wrapping around the pillars.  “Further beyond” refers to exploring the Americas and former Spanish territories.   The coat of arms also includes the Imperial Crown, used by King Charles I of Spain, and the Royal Crown on the right.

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Spain Flag

What does the flag of Spain look like? The Spanish flag is made of red, yellow, and red horizontal bands with the Spanish coat of arms off-centered on the yellow band. This current version was last updated on October 5, 1981.

Meaning of the Flag

Red and yellow were selected as the colors for the flag of Spain as these are seen as traditional Spanish colors. This is because they were used on the coat of arms of the original Spanish kingdoms. The flag also features Spain’s coat of arms quite prominently, which has its own meaning. There is a crowned shield which is guarded by the Pillars of Hercules, which are meant to symbolize Gibraltar and Cueta. Each quarter of the shield has a badge that represents the original kingdoms. The shield also has the emblem of the House of Bourbon. A pomegranate at the bottom of the shield represents Grenada, and the pillars feature a red scroll with the motto, “There is more beyond,” written on it.

Colors of the Flag

The colors of the Spanish flag are primarily red and yellow. These colors are seen as traditional Spanish colors, as these were the colors used in the original Spanish coat of arms. Spain was also the first country to use the colors of red and yellow at the time of the flag’s design. White, blue and gold colors can also be found on the nation’s coat of arms, which is located off-center toward the hoist.

History of the Flag

In 1785, Charles III – the ruler of Spain – chose a flag that is quite similar to the flag used today. The nation wanted a new flag to differentiate themselves from the other kingdoms of Bourbon. At the time of the design, red and yellow were chosen as the colors. However, the monarchy changed this design in 1931. At the time of the Spanish Republic, the flag was altered to include a stripe of purple along with the red and yellow. However, it wasn’t long until the purple was removed in 1936. Several changes were implemented to the flag after this, primarily to update the Spanish coat of harms. The most recent version that is in use today was established in the Spanish Constitution in 1981.

Flag Facts

The nickname of the Spanish flag is “la Rojigualda.

Charles III was the designer of the original flag in 1785, which is extremely similar to the flag that is still in use today.

The yellow stripe in the middle of the flag is twice the size of the red stripes.

The Spanish Royal Decree officially defines the colors that should be used in the Spanish flag.

Government offices are required to fly the flag 24/7. Flags cannot be soiled or damaged.

If the Spanish flag is unfurled around other flags, it must not be smaller than the other flags and must be flown in an honorable position.


A large yellow horizontal column in the center, with a smaller red column above and below, and the coat of arms on the left edge of the yellow column

Spain Flag

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What do the colors of the Spanish flag mean? Three versions of

Posted on 12/06/2021

Spanish historians believe that the first two red and one yellow stripes appeared on the flag of Spain thanks to King Carlos III of Bourbon, who in 1785 ordered the navy to use a new flag «to avoid inconvenience and confusion.


But the fact is that different branches of the Bourbon house at that time ruled in different countries. And almost all of them used naval standards with coats of arms on white fabric. In calm weather at sea, those looking from the ships could not distinguish from a distance who owns this or that ship — all the flags seemed just white. nine0011

Version one: two fingers on the flag

There is a legend that Charles III did not like any of the twelve sketches of the new flag presented. Then he took a yellow cloth and drew two stripes on it with his fingers, either with wine or with the blood of some animal.

This version, in my opinion, is both pejorative for Spain, neither convincing nor beautiful. Where, one wonders, did the Catholic king suddenly have a goblet with the blood of a sacrificial bull or at least a chicken in his office? nine0005 Ceremonial portrait of Charles III by Anton Raphael Mengs. The painting is kept in the Prado Museum in Madrid.

Charles III was not a fan of sacrifices. He was an enlightened monarch who sought to reform and improve the lives of his subjects.

Second version: blood and wealth

According to another folk legend, red color symbolizes the blood shed by the Spaniards in the battles for the liberation of their territory (there are wars against the Moors, and uprisings against Napoleon), and gold/yellow means the riches they captured (probably meaning the empire in general and Latin America in particular).

What do you say? Nice. In addition, it was during the war of liberation against Napoleon that the new flag became almost a national Spanish symbol.

Pyrenean war scene. Goya painting (detail)

Third version: poetic

In the book «Blood and Sand» by the famous Spanish writer Blasco Ibanez, published in 1908 and tells about the fate of the matador, there are such lines about the colors that appear in the arena during the bullfight:

“The Seville sand was different from all others — the bright yellow sand of the Guadalquivir, like paint, crushed into the smallest powder . When blood poured from the open belly of the horse, it seemed to Juan that he saw before him the colors of the national flag, similar to those that hovered over the roof of the circus.

So, just blood and sand. After all, bullfighting — a terrible and incomprehensible tradition for foreigners — is one of the most characteristic manifestations of Spanish national culture. nine0005 Bullring in Seville

What interpretations would you add? What exactly do you associate the colors of this flag with in Spanish?

Write in the comments and don’t forget to like if you liked the post!

Keywords for learning Spanish:

  • flag — la bandera («flag of Spain» — «la bandera de España»)
  • red — rojo
  • yellow — amarillo
  • gualda — a shade of yellow; the name comes from the Spanish name of the plant Reseda luteola , in Russian — yellow mignonette
  • therefore the colloquial name of the Spanish flag is rojigualda
  • sand — arena.

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The flag and coat of arms of Spain

The Spanish flag combines two primary colors — red and yellow , which have been strongly associated with Spain since the Middle Ages, although they were adopted as state colors relatively recently, in 1927 year.

The flag’s rectangular panel (the aspect ratio is 2:3) is divided into three stripes: the upper and lower stripes, equal in width, are colored red; in the middle there is a wide yellow stripe, which is twice as wide as the others. Against its background, at a distance of one third of the cloth from the flagpole, there is the coat of arms of Spain. Also in use is exactly the same flag without a coat of arms — it is used for private purposes.

Legend has it that this flag was created by one of the Aragonese kings who decided to make his own banner and commissioned several designs. He liked the golden field version, and to complement the overly minimalist look of the flag and make it more recognizable, he applied two stripes on top and bottom with his fingers, dipping his hands in a goblet of animal blood. nine0005

It is likely that this legend is a fabrication or a distorted rumor. It is only known for sure that the modern version of the flag, only with a slightly different coat of arms from today, has been used in Spain since 1785. King Carlos III of Bourbon did not like the fact that the Spanish white naval standard could be easily confused with the standards of ships of other countries, so he ordered a bright, red-yellow frag decorated with the coat of arms of the House of Bourbon to be installed on military ships.

For a short time, the flag of Spain was abolished and replaced by another variant with three equally wide stripes of red, yellow and purple. It happened at 1931, with the proclamation of a new republic, but already 6 years later, with the start of the civil war, the old flag began to be used much more often, and in 1939, after the overthrow of the republic, Franco finally got rid of the new version and began to use the old red and yellow flag.

In 1981, the flag of Spain acquired its modern appearance — a new, slightly modified version of the coat of arms appeared on the yellow stripe.

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