Spanish Armada Flag

Did you know that the Spanish Armada war against the English in 1588 sealed the fate of both countries? Want to see what the flag used by the Spanish Armada looked like? Our guide to the flag of the Spanish Armada gives you the facts & information yo

Wars do have a loser and a victor but most importantly they provide invaluable lessons. The Spanish Armada war against the English was important because of various factors. It was a fight between the fleets deploying traditional warfare against the fleets deploying modern warfare. It was a fight that showed that size, experience and strength could be overcome with tactics, dedication and bravery in spite of inexperience and lack of allies.

Historical Background

In 1588, King Philip, the second decided to send a naval fleet known as Armada in Spanish, to try to invade England  and to overthrow Queen Elizabeth, the first. He considered this war to be a crusade. He made all the plans and details of the war all by himself giving little regard to any advice given to him.

He organized a powerful fleet and planned to further aid it with the Netherlands army by planning it to join at Parma; however, as the fleet sailed through the English Channel, their plan was foiled by the English fleet making it impossible for both forces to join. Even when the Spanish Armada reached Calais and tried to attack the English, they were surprised with the English fire ships and were forced to cut their anchors. The Spanish Armada was using old warfare techniques and was heavily depending on hand to hand combat. Their war ships were over sized making it difficult to maneuver and were using old ammunition. On the contrary, the English Navy was using sleek war ships, better ammunition and modern war fare techniques. This gave the English Navy an edge over the Spanish Armada and they were forced to turn back after suffering heavy losses. On their way back home, they encountered terrible storms and bad weather and lost more ships and men to bad weather as compared to the war itself. So, the English Navy was a clear victor in this war.

Spanish Armada Flag

The Spanish Armada in this war had 138 vessels with almost 17,000 soldiers and 7,000 seamen. They were under the command of Duke Medina-Sidonia.

It must be however added that Armada in Spanish simply means “Navy”, and so the Spanish Navy is still called Spanish Armada. It uses a special flag called “Bandera de Proa o de Tajamar”.

It is hoisted on all Spanish naval ships from sunrise till sunset at the prow of the ship. It is a square shaped flag having four equal parts.

The first part shows a castle representing the kingdom of Castile.

The second part shows a lion wearing a crown representing the kingdom of Leon.

The third quarter shows vertical alternating red and yellow stripes standing for the kingdom of Aragon.

The fourth part shows chains linked together representing the kingdom of Navarre.

The Spanish Armada flag is a symbol of pride for the nation and a mirror to their rich heritage and culture.

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