Spanish flag: symbolism and history
Perhaps it is difficult today to find a person who would never see the Spanish flag in pictures, photos or movies. But at the same time very few people looked closely at its details, and even more so, he understands heraldry so well as to decipher its meaning. The article describes in detail about this most important symbol of Spain.
What does he look like
To begin, let us tell you what the Spanish flag looks like. The most noticeable elements are the red and gold stripe. Reds are located at the bottom and top, together closing exactly half the canvas. Between them there is a golden band, which also occupies half of the flag.
It is located on it the coat of arms of Spain - between the first and second thirds of the pole. It is rather complicated, so it is useful to learn more about it.
In the center of the coat of arms is a shield with a rounded bottom. Left and right - columns, standing on blue pedestals with wavy silver and blue ribbons. They are intertwined with red ribbons with inscriptions PLUS and ULTRA. From above both are decorated with crowns, and with different ones.
Above the shield itself is also a crown.
The shield is divided into six parts. In the center, in an oval, on a blue background in a red border there are three golden lilies. The upper left corner of the red color is occupied by the golden tower. In the right corner on a silver background is a pink lion in a golden crown, standing on his hind legs. The lower left corner is simply hatched with vertical stripes - gold and red. And in the lower right, on a gold background, there is a golden shield folded from a chain. At the very bottom on a silvery background is depicted a plant - a pomegranate with two green leaves.
Consider a coat of arms in more detail.
Now that you know what the Spanish flag is, you can talk about the symbolism of the coat of arms, since it was on it.
Let's start with the shield. Five fragments, not counting the central one, symbolize the five largest kingdoms that became part of the country in the Middle Ages. They were: Aragon, Navarre, Castilla, León and Granada. The sixth fragment reminds of the French origin of the Anjou branch of the Bourbon dynasty - it was from it that the modern royal family originated.
The shield itself recalls that at one time Spain was a barrier against the Arabs, who seized these lands and almost advanced to the northeast, to France and other European states.
The crown, which crowns the shield from above, reminds the simple Spaniards of the king, whom every law-abiding citizen must honor.
The two columns surrounding the shield are the pillars of Hercules. So used to be called Gibraltar, which connects the Mediterranean Sea with the Atlantic Ocean and separates Africa from Asia. They are wrapped in red ribbons with the inscription PLUS ULTRA, which translates as "Further than the limit." A funny fact is connected with it. Before the voyage of Columbus in Europe, they believed that there was nothing and could not be to the west of Gibraltar. Therefore, the slogan on the coat of arms read Nec Plus Ultra or "There is nowhere else." But after America was discovered, the inscription was slightly modified and it acquired a modern look.
How old is the modern flag of Spain
Few people know, but the Spanish flag is one of the youngest in Europe. In its present form, it was adopted only on December 19, 1981.
For the first time, Spain’s own flag appeared rather late: only in 1701. Since then, he has changed quite often. What can I say, only in the twentieth century his appearance was changed five times! We will tell about different versions a little more in detail.
What did the previous flags look like?
The history of the flag of Spain is quite interesting.The first, as mentioned above, appeared in 1701. It showed the coat of arms of that time on a white background. He existed until 1760. Then changed the coat of arms and, accordingly, the flag.
But in 1785, King Carlos III of Bourbon ordered the development of a new one that would be clearly visible on the mast of warships, since the white one was lost against the sky and confused with the flags of other powers. So a flag appeared, already quite similar to the modern one: three well-known stripes and the coat of arms of that time.
It was used for almost a hundred years, until 1873, when the emblem was again changed, removing the royal crown from it. True, the new flag lasted only a year, and then returned to the previous, proven, which existed until 1931.
After the revolution a republic was proclaimed, and the flag changed colors for the first time in a century and a half. Now the cloth was divided into three bands: red, gold and purple. The coat of arms was transferred strictly to the middle. True, in this form it did not exist for long. Five years later, General Francisco Franco suppressed the revolt and the flag received its usual colors, and the coat of arms of that time shifted slightly to the left.
Then the flag was changed three more times, adjusting to the coat of arms: in 1938, 1945 and 1977. Finally, in 1981, it acquired the final form, the way it can be seen today.
Why are red and gold colors so popular
Speaking about the flag of Spain, it is impossible to forget about the meaning of colors, because they play a very important role in heraldry. Surely the reader has already had a question about why, given that the flag has changed many times, three bands (two narrow red and wide gold) almost always remained.
The answer is simple. The red stripes symbolize Aragon, and the gold stripes - Castile. These two kingdoms united in 1469, essentially becoming the core of modern Spain. Indeed, in the fifteenth century in the territory of this country were located a half dozen constantly fighting with each other kingdoms. The marriage of two rulers - Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile - marked the beginning of the formation of a powerful country, whose sons fought all over the world, mastered new countries, built huge cities in deserts and jungles.
Now you know what the Spanish flag and the emblem look like, what they symbolize when they were accepted, how they changed. Surely, it greatly expanded your horizons, making you an even more interesting conversationalist.