The flag of Spain stands out in a crowd. Find out the reasons why it was deliberately made to be this way and what the symbolism on the Spanish flag represents.
Every country has a flag that acts as an identity of the country. The current flag of Spain was finalized in the Spanish Constitution of 1978. The flag is relatively simple in its basic design as it features three horizontal stripes. The top stripe is red, the middle is yellow and the bottom one is again red. The middle yellow one is twice the size of the red ones and makes for the largest space in the composition of the flag. There is another interesting element to the flag which distinguishes the Spanish flag from others. This is the coat of arms. The coat of arms is a symbol and it is compulsory for the state and war flags to sport this emblem. There is no such compulsion on the civil flag however as the constitution has made the insertion of the coat of arms optional.
The symbol on the Spanish flag has undergone three major revisions throughout the course of time. The original coat of arms of Francoist Spain was finalized in 1945. The year 1977 saw the first revision of the symbol which was later revised to what we see on the Spanish flag today. This is the only element on the flag that has changed over the year whereas the Amarillo (yellow) and rojo (red) colors remain the same. This colorful flag is a true reflection of the colorful culture of Spain.
The Symbol on the Flag
The symbol of the Spanish flag also includes the royal seal. The seal was framed by the Pillars of Hercules. They are meant to be representing Gibraltar and Ceuta on both the sides of the eastern end of the Strait of Gibraltar. The red banners on the royal seal are supposed to display the Latin motto Plus Ultra which in English means more beyond. The phrase is in memory of Columbus’ discovery of the new world. The more interesting imagery can be found between the two columns where there is a shield upon which there is a lion wearing a crown. Other items on the picture include red and yellow vertical stripes, a chain mail and three fleurs-de-lis inside an oval placed in the center. On top of the shield is an ornate golden and red crown.
The flag of Spain was given the vibrant colors and the vivid imagery in order that it may stand out from other flags. This was especially important for the naval forces. The colors make their way through from the original coat of arms originating from the regions of Castile and Aragon. There is a legend that surrounds the symbolism of the Spanish flag but for a historian that legend finds no factual evidence. It had to do with the red representing the bloodshed from bullfighting and the yellow the sand of the arena. However this legend holds untrue to recorded history. Each region in Spain has its own flag as well but the red and yellow flag with the coat of arms is recognized as the symbol of the country on a united platform.