Symbols of Francoism
The symbols of Francoism were iconic references to identify Francisco Franco’s regime in Spain between 1936 and 1975. They serve as visual illustrations for the ideology of Francoist Spain. Uniforms were designed for men and women that combined elements of the earlier Falangist and Carlist uniforms. The regime developed new flags and escutcheons based on the traditional heraldry of the monarchy, but now associated with the state. The emblem of five arrows joined by a yoke was also adopted from earlier times, but after 1945 the arrows always pointed upward. This emblem appeared on buildings, plaques and uniforms.
Many statues of Franco were installed in public places, in part to lend legitimacy to his regime. Some towns, streets and plazas were given new names derived from Franco and his entourage. Franco caused many monuments to be erected, some of them substantial buildings. The most imposing is the Valle de los Caídos, the Valley of the Fallen, incorporating a huge basilica built into the side of a mountain. War memorials and plaques commemorating those who had died in the Spanish Civil War were installed in many towns and villages.
After Franco's death in 1975, followed by the return to democracy, many symbols of Francoism were destroyed or removed and places renamed. A law of October 2007 mandated removal of all remaining symbols from public buildings, with some exceptions for works of particular religious or artistic significance.
- 1 Background
- 2 Uniforms
- 3 Heraldic devices, symbols and icons
- 4 Statues of Franco
- 5 Monuments
- 5.1 War memorials and Plaques to “Those Fallen for God and for Spain."
- 5.2 The Victory Arch
- 5.3 Monument to the Fallen in Pamplona
- 5.4 Headquarters, Cuartel de La Montaña
- 5.5 The ruins of Belchite
- 5.6 Monuments for the Battle of Ebro
- 5.7 Monument for the Massacre of Paracuellos
- 5.8 The Fortress at Toledo
- 5.9 Monument to the cruiser "Baleares"
- 6 Religious monuments
- 7 Place names
- 8 Removal of symbols
- 9 Notes
- 10 References
- 11 Sources
- 12 Further reading
- 13 External links
The Second Spanish Republic was established in April 1931 after King Alfonso XIII had forced the dictator General Miguel Primo de Rivera to resign, followed by nationwide municipal elections. The king and the former dictator fled the country when the republic was declared. The new government inherited a bankrupt state. In an atmosphere of political unrest, opinions polarized between the extreme right and extreme left, often degenerating into violence. On the right, the traditionalist Carlist movement revived. In 1933, the aristocratic José Antonio Primo de Rivera, son of the former dictator, founded the far-right Falange movement, similar to the Italian Fascists. In February 1934 the Falange merged with the Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional-Sindicalista (J.O.N.S), another right-wing group. Left-wing trade unions staged industry-wide or city-wide strikes, and in Catalonia Marxist and Anarchist groups competed for power. Landless laborers seized land, occupied estates and burned churches.
At a time of political crisis, on 17 July 1936, General Francisco Franco led the Spanish colonial army from Morocco to attack the mainland, starting the Spanish Civil War. A bitter war of attrition, in which over 500,000 people died, dragged out until 1 April 1939, when the Nationalists led by Franco had acquired full control of the country. Franco was supported by the Falange and the Carlist Comunión Tradicionalista, and united the two parties to forming the Falange Española Tradicionalista y de las JONS, or FET y de las JONS, whose official ideology was the Falangists' 27 puntos. The new party was a wide-ranging nationalist coalition, closely controlled by Franco.
Franco had received material support in the civil war from both Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, rulers of Germany and Italy, but when World War II broke in September 1939 out he pleaded the exhausted state of his country and maintained a position of neutrality. In June 1940, Spain changed to a position of non-belligerency. Despite pressure from Axis diplomats, that is as far as Franco would go. After the war ended in 1945, Franco remained dictator of Spain, at first isolated among the democracies of post-war Western Europe. This isolation was gradually eroded by the pressures of the Cold War, with Spain signing a security treaty with the United States in 1953. In the 1960s Spain experienced a boom from a growing tourism industry and from relaxation of trade barriers, modernizing economically and then culturally, which placed pressure on the regime's highly conservative values. However, Franco held onto power until his death in November 1975. Soon after, a transition to democracy began. A 1977 amnesty law was passed under which Franco's followers were given immunity for past abuses in return for supporting the transition.
Photographs taken at the ceremony in October 1933 when the Falange Española de las JONS was founded do not show anyone wearing a uniform, but a picture of a meeting of the Junta Política a year later shows some (but not all) members in the official uniform. This consisted of a dark blue shirt with epaulettes and long black pants. The left pocket of the shirt bore the emblem of the Falange. Women wore the blue shirt and a knee-length black skirt, with a leather belt bearing the Falange emblem on its buckle. At a meeting in the Teatro Calderón in Valladolid in March 1934 the hall was filled with banners and insignia, and many attendees wore the blue shirts, visually displaying what José Antonio Primo de Rivera called the "spirit of service and of sacrifice, the ascetic and military concept of life." Later, upper-class women might use Falangist insignia on their clothes as fashion accessories. When Carmen Primo de Rivera, sister of José Antonio, married in December 1938 she had the yoke and arrows embroidered on her wedding dress. After José Antonio died, a black tie was added in his memory.
After the union with the Carlists, the original Falange uniform became important in identifying genuine Falangists. The red beret had become the symbol of carlism by the 1860s. The new party, commonly known as the Movimiento Nacional, was given a uniform with the Falangist blue shirt, the red Carlist beret and military belts.[a] The party symbol was the Falangist yoke and arrows. A portrait of Franco by Ignacio Zuloaga from 1940 shows him wearing the blue shirt, military boots and jodhpurs, and the red beret of the requetés.[b]
Heraldic devices, symbols and icons
At the time of the Pronunciamiento of 17 and 18 July 1936, the insurgent military forces used the national flag with their coat-of arms superimposed, that is to say, the current "tricolor" with the 1869 coat of arms, which had been approved by the Spanish Constitution of 1931. However in the operations, especially in the air and naval combats, the insurgents soon experienced confusion in distinguishing their units from those of the government. Also, within the insurgent heterogenic political families, the Carlists in Navarre insisted on going into combat with flags that were red and gold or white embroidered with red, known as the burgundy of San Andrés, and they included a wide variety of emblems with a mixture of symbols of the monarchy and religion, the latter being particularly directed to the worship of the "Sacred Heart".
The government aimed to resolve this flag situation with the Decree of 29 August 1936, signed by General Miguel Cabanellas, which reinstated the red and yellow flag. There was no reference to the dimensions nor the coat of arms, so the insurgent forces employed a host of distinctive coats of arms. To settle this situation, the Junta added an order to the Decree on 13 September 1936, signed by Colonel Federico Montaner. This defined the shapes and dimensions of the Army’s flags to be the same as before the proclamation of the Republic. The coat of arms was that of the Republic. Eventually, considering the aims of the Falange, a new design for the coat of arms was formally specified and regulated by Decree number 470, 2 February 1938, signed by General Franco.
The escutcheon, popularly known the "Eagle escutcheon", and then representative of the insurgent group and its ideology, was imposed after the conflict as the national escutcheon for Spain. It included some minor technical improvements which were approved in 1945, during the period of the Franco regime itself and also during the period of democratic transition until 1981. Certain symbolic value changes were approved in 1977, such as making the eagle's wings much more open.
By the express directive of the Franco government, the design of the shield for the national emblem represented a departure from the traditional one that had been used in its various forms since 1868. After this change, the escutcheon of Spain was attached to the State and not the Monarchy. Without affecting the basic design, the shield was divided into four with the coats of arms of Castille, León, Aragon and Navarre, plus the «enté en point» of Granada. The inclusion of other historical heraldic elements gave a clear symbolic significance: "The set of arrows and the yoke of the Catholic Monarchs, whose adoption as a badge is one of the great successes of our Falange, must appear on the official arms to indicate what should be the tone of the New State."
The Eagle on Franco's escutcheon had already been used on the arms of the Catholic Monarchs. It was the Eagle of Saint John the Evangelist, which Queen Isabella I of Castile used on an evangelist escutcheon to which she added the words sub umbra alarum tuarum protege nos (protect us under the shadow of your wings). The heraldry used by Franco was similar to that of the Catholic Monarchs, the arms of Aragon-Sicily replaced by those of the Navarre, the addition of the Pillars of Hercules and the motto One, Great and Free.
Origin of the Yoke, arrows and Gordian knot
In Spanish heraldic tradition, the yoke, set of arrows and the Gordian Knot, were elements which were joined with the leaves and the pomegranate and the motto Tanto monta, monta tanto (Equal opposites in balance), the personal motto and prenuptial agreement of the Catholic Monarchs Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon, as embodied in the song of Pedro Marcuello. This motto was used upon the weapons of both Monarchs from 1475. They made an agreement, now called Concordia de Segovia and the coat of arms is a graphic representation of this pact which united the two most important Monarchs on the peninsula. It is the oldest known image of the escutcheon.
The bundle of arrows may have its origins in the Roman fasces, a bundle of rods and an axe with the blade projecting, that were carried before the magistrates to show their power. The arrows pointed downward to show they were ready for use in executing criminals or for warfare. With the marriage of Ferdinand and Isabella, the bundle of arrows meant the union of Castile and Aragon to create Spain. The yoke was Isabel's and the arrows Ferdinand's. The F was the first letter of Fernando's name, and the Y the first letter of Isabella's. The Gordian knot, cut, united the two. The number of arrows varied, but always pointed downwards. Over time, the badge of the Catholic Monarchs spread to other heraldic compositions, and was adopted in some of its variants as the emblems of not only towns and cities such Ronda, Marbella and Málaga, but also Puerto Rico and the Netherlands.
Emblem of the Falange
The adoption of this symbol was explained by a professor at the University of Granada, Fernando de los Ríos, who had socialist leanings. In a class on political law of the Fascist state and its symbols, he made a drawing on the blackboard of a set of arrows linked with a yoke, indicating that this would be the symbol of Fascism and to have been born or raised in Spain. He said that if ever there was a Spanish fascism, this would be the emblem." Juan Aparicio López,, a student attending the class, suggested adoption of this symbol for JONS of Onésimo Redondo and Ramiro Ledesma Ramos (Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional-Sindicalista). He also proposed the 'red and black' and the motto "Spain: one, great and free". The J.O.N.S adopted the yoke and arrows symbol, which immediately became popular due to its geometrical simplicity, warlike symbolism and invocation of a time when Spain was glorious. The symbol was adopted by the Falange at the time of the merger on 13 February 1934. The yoke and arrows represented the union of the five kingdoms of Castile, Leon, Aragon, Granada and Navarre, and both national unity and the glories of the period of Ferdinand and Isabella were persistent themes of Franco's regime.
The poet and activist Rafael Sánchez Mazas wrote, in an edition of the magazine El Fascio1933 the reasons for the Spanish Falange’s adoption of some aspects of those used by the Catholic Monarchs was because of their origin in the works of the Roman poet Virgil (70 BC – 19 BC). The symbolism of the arrows, as an expression of war was used in Virgil’s Aeneid, and the yoke, a symbol for agricultural, was based in Virgil’s poem, the Georgics, and was meant to provide a falangist symbolism: ... We integrate the yoke and the set of arrows into the escutcheon. If the yoke without the arrows is heavy, the arrows without the yoke are in danger of becoming too scattered. We are changing, rather than to a policy, to a discipline, to a behavior, to a style, to a way of being, to an education. Those responsible for the Falange ideology, such as José Antonio Primo de Rivera, Juan Aparicio, Ernesto Giménez Caballero, Ramiro Ledesma, Orbegozo, wrote in the journal Fascio that the chosen emblem was also close to Italian Fascism.
The "victor" is a symbol from the Ancient Roman Empire. After the Edict of Milan in the year 313 AD, the crismón appeared on coins, flags and eventually also became part of the shields of the Roman legionaries. According to legend, the night before the battle of the Ponte Milvio, the crismón with the words in hoc signo vinces (In this sign, you conquer') appeared to Emperor Constantine the Great in his dreams. The next day the Emperor replaced the Imperial eagle by the crismón on the standard, the labarum, and he won the battle. Over time, it was gradually included, in varying forms, on the Roman crowns. It had become the symbol of the victor and the victorious. From the fourteenth century, it was adopted as the emblem for doctors by some Spanish universities, such as the University of Salamanca and later Alcalá de Henares, and is in mural inscriptions done in red or black paint that remain there today. Finally, it was chosen as suitable for use in the Victory Parade (July 18, 1939) and, thereafter, throughout the Franco dictatorship, as emblem of Franco. Mistakenly it was thought it had been designed by Corintio Haza, who incorporated astrological symbols in the emblem to protect the Caudillo.
Guidon, head of State's standard and coat of arms of Franco
The guidon, the personal military flag, and a head of State's standard were created in 1940 and then used until the death of the dictator. The stripe between the two dragons separates the two Pillars of Hercules which have silver columns, gold Corinthian capitals and are headed with crowns. The crown nearest to the stripe, which is always on the column placed on the lower part of the flag, is an Imperial crown with a central upright bar. The one on the other column is a Royal crown, this has a more open top and it is always on the column placed on the top half of the flag. The Royal Bend of Castile, which was a personal badge of the Castilian Monarchs and later used by the House of Habsburg, was used as the basis for the creation of the escutcheon. The standard, the flag which was flown at official residences, barracks and on ships of the Spanish Navy, was a square with the elements mentioned above. La Banda de Castilla and the Columns of Hercules form part of the personal escuteon used by Franco as Chief of State. The coat of arms also contained the Laureate Cross of Saint Ferdinand as supporter and an open crown without arches known as the crown of military leadership.
Statues of Franco
The statues are varied sculptural representations of the dictator: busts, equestrian statues, etc., which the regime placed in many Spanish cities. The purpose of having so many statues has changed over time. It has been suggested that up to 1959 (and especially in the 1940s) the purpose of the many statues was to legitimize the regime and “perpetuate the memory of victory”. It has been further suggested that in the 1960s these were a special tribute to show “appreciation of Franco and his achievements”, (in a spirit of commemorating the 25 Years of Peace). In the last period (after the death of Franco until 1978) the statues were to "secure the memory" of an "unchanging goal.
The most important equestrian statues were placed in prominent places in Valencia, Santander and the Nuevos Ministerios in Madrid. The original was designed in 1959 by José Capuz Mamano. This statue is at the Complutense University in Madrid, with other copies in Barcelona, Zaragoza (1948), Melilla, Ferrol, and the Institute of Maeztu Ramiro in Madrid (1942, a smaller one than the original and moved to the Infantry Academy in Toledo in the 1980s to the Infantry Academy in Toledo.
Places where statues can currently be found:
- Ferrol: a statue of over six metres high, at Franco's birthplace. Originally placed in la Plaza de España, it is now in the Museo Naval de Herrerías, inside the military naval dockyard.
- Toledo: on the side of the main facade of the Infantry Academy in Toledo.
- Valencia: an equestrian statue of the dictator which was withdrawn from Valencia in 1983 and is now preserved in the courtyard of the convent of Santo Domingo.
- Melilla: retains the only statue of Franco that can be seen standing on a public road and, after being withdrawn in 2005 due to road works that were to take place, was placed back about 50 meters from its previous location. This statue was made before Franco became the Head of State and celebrates his achievements in the War of Africa.
- Tenerife: in the town of El Rosario, there is plinth with Franco’s bust, which records that in June 1936 the then commanding General of the Canary Islands (Franco) met there with officers of the garrison to prepare for the uprising.
- La Coruña: in various parts of the city, there are sculptures and plaques, with the image of the dictator on horseback surrounded by the Moorish guard of the Palace of Maria Pita.
- Salamanca: in Plaza Mayor there is a stone bust.
- Oviedo: next to San Francisco Park and within the complex of buildings belonging to the Civil Government of Asturias, a bronze statue of Franco on the side facing the park.
Statues recently removed
- Until February 2010, in Ceuta there was a monument called "Franco's feet," where his footprints were next to the only shrine in the city.
- The last statue of Franco in Santander was withdrawn on December 18, 2008.
- A statue of Franco in the courtyard of the Military Academy of Zaragoza was withdrawn in August 2006.
- A bust situated in Puebla de Vallbona, Valencia was removed in September 2005.
- In Guadalajara, in March 2005, the decision was taken to remove the statue of General Franco from the Square Beladíez and the bust of José Antonio Primo de Rivera Park Concordia.
- On March 17, 2005 the statue was removed from the Nuevos Ministerios which was at the Paseo de la Castellana in Madrid.
War memorials and Plaques to “Those Fallen for God and for Spain."
War memorials and plaques for those "Fallen for God and Spain" were placed in many villages, most on the outside of the churches. They contained a list of names of the dead people belonging to the Spanish Nationalist party followed by the declaration ‘Present!’ similar to that of José Antonio Primo de Rivera. The plaques, although there were many kinds, were usually made of marble and topped with bronze or other metal. Sometimes the plaques were placed on the walls of the church, or if there was a wall nearby, at the burial place of the victims named on the plaque. If there was a cross-shaped monument or low obelisk that recorded the names, a plaque was attached to it. Many places have now chosen to move this type of monument to the cemeteries, and in some cases they have been turned into tributes to the "fallen" from both sides. There was another use of plaques, this was at the opening of institutions and infrastructure such as railway lines, stations, reservoirs, etc., These plaques still exist today. Many of the plaques and monuments are neither maintained nor withdrawn. Thus, it is up to public to choose to either to let them deteriorate or to vandalise them.
Monument to the fallen of Liendo, Cantabria.
Plaques listing the fallen of Caspe, Zaragoza.
Sóller (Majorca), monument a los Caídos on Plaça d'Espanya; the 'coat of arms of the Eagle' has been vandalised.
The Victory Arch
The Victory Arch of Madrid (Arco de la Victoria de Madrid) is situated in the Moncloa-Aravaca district of Madrid. The monument was built between 1953 and 1956 by order of Franco to commemorate his victory in the Spanish Civil War. The 40 metres (130 ft) high arch commemorates the nationalist victory in the Battle of Cuidad Universitaria, in which the university city was destroyed. Inscriptions in Latin describe the victory and the construction of the new university city. Behind it is the monument to the Fallen from Madrid, designed in 1949 by the architect Manuel Herrero de Palacios, a monumental circular building roofed with a cupola. Today it is the home of the municipal council of the Moncloa - Aravaca district.
Monument to the Fallen in Pamplona
Popularly known as the Monument to the Fallen, the real name is Navarra a sus Muertos en la Cruzada (Navarre to its Dead in the Crusade), as indicated on its facade. The building was erected in memory of the dead from Navarre, a Nationalist stronghold during the Civil War, and is located in the heart of the city of Pamplona, the capital of Navarre. The building was designed by the architects Victor Eusa and José Yamoz. The names of the 5,000 people of Navarre who died in combat in the civil war were inscribed on its walls, but today they are covered by a sheet. Today the building is known as the Sala de Exposiciones Conde Rodezno (Conde Rodezno Exhibition Hall) and is used for small municipal exhibitions.
Headquarters, Cuartel de La Montaña
The Cuartel de la Montaña was a military building in Madrid that achieved notoriety as the place where the military uprising of July 1936 began in the city. On July 19, 1936 in Madrid, General Fanjul, without a commission, but charged with the uprising of the city, came in civilian clothes, to the headquarters, Cuartel de La Montaña. Instead of going out with troops to take the vital points of the capital, he simply proclaimed the state of war and became powerful with 1,500 men (of whom there were about 140 officers) and approximately 180 Falangists from the Cuartel de La Montaña.
That afternoon, the base was surrounded by poorly armed troops loyal to the government of the Republic Assault Guards, civilians and militia. At dawn on 20 July, shelling of the barracks began. The rebels resisted for only a few hours. Differences of opinion amongst themselves, led some rebels to fly the white flag while others were firing on the attackers. The garrison fell, being almost completely destroyed. The entry of the attacking forces resulted in the murder of most of the officers (ninety of one hundred forty) and the Falangists. There were between 150 and 300 dead.
The building, which had been mostly destroyed during the siege, during the war suffered the impact of numerous artillery attacks because of its proximity to the front line, which to all intends and purposes stayed in the same place since early 1937. Towards the end of the war it was just a set of ruins, some of which could still be seen in the early sixties. The park, Parque del Cuartel de la Montaña, was inaugurated on 20 July 1972, when Franco was still in power and Carlos Arias Navarro, the future prime minister, was mayor of Madrid. It incorporates a monument, also from 1972, by Joaquín Vaquero Turcios in memory of those who died in its defence. This consists of a bronze figure representing the body of an injured man at the centre of a wall sculpted in the form of sandbags.
The ruins of Belchite
The Battle of Belchite occurred during the Republican offensive in Aragon that started in August 1937, with Zaragoza as the target. For various reasons, including heat, lack of water and the military superiority of the Nationalists, the offensive was unsuccessful. Starting on 1 September 1937, the republicans concentrated on Belchite, with an intense artillery bombardment combined with aerial bombing. The town was totally ruined and 6,000 people had died when the defenders surrendered on 6 September 1937. Although the outcome was a Republican victory, the delay caused by the battle gave the Nationalists time to regroup and prevent the advance to Zaragoza.
Franco decreed that the original town be left in its state of ruin as a monument. Republican prisoners were made to build a new town of Belchite, but the original town has not been rebuilt. The ruins remain as a monument that attracts small numbers of battlefield tourists each year.
Monuments for the Battle of Ebro
The bloodiest battle of the Civil War was fought on the left bank of the river Ebro.
- In memory of General Franco’s victory, the town of Corbera de Ebro was left just as it had been after the battle.
- At an elevation of 427 metres at Quatre Camins a stone cross stands in memory of the Third Requetes of Our Lady of Montserrat, the Carlist Nationalist unit formed by Catalan volunteers, which suffered heavy casualties in this place. St. Andrew's Cross of red stands on the pedestal.
- At elevation 481 in Punta Targa, a monument stands for the brotherhood of the Third Requetes of Our Lady of Montserrat. The base of the monument is an ossuary containing the remains of combatants from both sides.
- At the crossroads for Faterella and Villalba de los Alcores there is a monolith erected in memory of the soldiers of the 4th Division of Navarre who died in on the banks of the Ebro.
- At Coll del Moro, on the outskirts of Gandesa, a monolith from 1953 marks the position from which Franco personally led the final attack. The monument has been vandalized with graffiti both for and against the Franco regime.
- On one of the peaks of Puig de l'Àliga near Gandesa, there is another monument but the original inscription has been lost over time.
- In Prat de Compte in front of the school there is a cross in memory of the ‘Fallen for God and for Spain’.
Monument for the Massacre of Paracuellos
Republican Militia guards killed over a thousand prisoners in the "Massacre of Paracuellos", during the Battle of Madrid, in the area around San Jose, in the municipality of Paracuellos de Jarama, and Soto Aldovea, within the boundary of Torrejón de Ardoz. They are commemorated by a large white cross on the slopes of the Cerro de San Miguel, near the river Jarama and visible from the airport of Madrid-Barajas.
The Fortress at Toledo
In the third century the Alcázar of Toledo was a Roman palace. It was restored during the reigns of Alfonso VI and Alfonso X and modified in 1535. During the Civil War it was used by Colonel José Moscardó Ituarte as a defence building and a place of resistance. During a siege there, which lasted 70 days, from 22 July to 28 September 28, 1936, it was completely destroyed by troops loyal to the Second Spanish Republic. Later it was rebuilt. Since 1998 it has housed the Library of Castile-La Mancha, and from 2010 it has also held the Army Museum. The siege and liberation were used by Francisco Franco to establish his dominance with his followers. The newspaper Ultra named the building El Alcázar of Spain, although at first was a daily that referred to it as an historical landmark.
Monument to the cruiser "Baleares"
The Monument to the cruiser "Baleares" (El Monumento al Crucero «Baleares») is located in the San Feixina Park, Palma, Majorca. It is controversial, with some groups calling for its removal. The monument was erected in memory of the crew of the Spanish cruiser Baleares, which was torpedoed and sunk by destroyers of the Spanish Republican Navy in the Battle of Cape Palos. The monument was designed by the architects Don Francisco and Don José Roca Simó (father and son) and the sculptor José Ortells Cabanellas. It was inaugurated on 16 May 1947. The column is 22 metres (72 ft) high, topped by a huge cross. At one time it also had a sculpture of a sailor clinging to an anchor.
Franco was raised as a devout Catholic, and came to believe that Spanish nationalism and Catholic belief could not be separated. He felt that Spain had a special religious mission, and completely identified his cause with the cause of the church. Franco called his fight against the Republicans a "crusade" and presented his 1939 victory as a victory of Christian civilization. When attending churches, he entered solemnly under a religious canopy. On 15 April 1938, Vinaròs beach was captured, splitting the Republican-held area into two. The head of the Navarre IV Division dipped his fingers in the water and made the sign of the cross, symbolically taking possession.
St Teresa was designated by traditionalists and the Catholic Church as the "saint of the Spanish race". The Nationalist forces found a relic of the saint in Málaga, one of her hands, which was sent to Franco. He made a personal cult of devotion to the saint, keeping the relic in his home until he died.
The Valley of the Fallen
This monument to the fallen in the civil war was built by Republican prisoners of war. It is on a huge scale, with the basilica built into the side of a pine-covered mountain, with an enormous stone cross above the entrance. The stone cross is 500 feet (150 m) high and is visible from a distance of 30 miles (48 km). The monument and basilica were built in accordance with the Decree of 1 April 1940 providing for construction of a Basilica, monastery and youth headquarters, in a farm located on the slopes of the Sierra de Guadarrama (El Escorial), "to perpetuate the memory of the fallen of our glorious Crusade". Construction began in the 1940s and the structure was completed in 1959.
Franco's grave is beside the altar. The monument is still visited by the dwindling group of his die-hard supporters on the anniversary of Franco's death. José Antonio Primo de Rivera and many other combatants from both sides in the Spanish Civil War are buried in the valley. Perhaps 50,000 of Franco's supporters are buried there, along with a handful of Republicans. Human rights groups have called for El Valle de los Caidos to be converted into a center that would teach visitors about the civil war and the Franco regime. Others have asked that the bodies of Jose Antonio and Franco be removed, and that plaques or other methods be used to give visitors some understanding of the historical background.
Sacred Heart of Jesus
The Cerro de los Ángeles (Hill of the Angels) is the site of the Monumento al Sagrado Corazón (Monument of the sacred heart). The original monument was created by the architect Carlos Maura Nadal and the sculptor Aniceto Marinas y García, and was inaugurated by King Alfonso XIII on 30 May 1919. It was destroyed on 7 August 1936 during the civil war. The Republicans dynamited the monument due to its religious and political symbolism. There was a proposal to replace it with a figure representing Liberty or the Republic, but this was not executed.
The current monument is similar in design to the 1919 monument, but on a larger scale. Construction began in 1944 to designs by the architects Pedro Muguruza and Luis Quijada Martínez. The monument shows Christ with open arms, inviting all men to come to Him. The 11.5 metres (38 ft) high statue on a 26 metres (85 ft) pedestal is the work of Aniceto Marinas, and the group of sculptures around the base is by Fernando Cruz Solís. The monument was opened in 1965. The crypt, which did not exist in the original monument, was opened in 1975.
Towns and villages
Today, there are a dozen towns that preserve the memory of Franco in their official names. The only one which has the status of a municipality is Llanos del Caudillo, with 726 inhabitants. Many other towns and cities that had similar names for decades, such as El Ferrol del Caudillo (until 1982, in the province of La Coruña), or Barbate de Franco (until 1998, in the province of Cadiz), withdrew the reference to Franco after the restoration of democracy. Franco wanted to honour generals from the Nationalist side by putting their names to various locations, and they still retain these. Such is the case of San Leonardo de Yagüe, where General Juan Yagüe was born, or Alcocero de Mola, where General Emilio Mola died in a plane crash during the war. The case of Numancia de la Sagra (Toledo) is an example. Since the Middle Ages this town was known as Azaña, but during the Civil War this coincided with the first name of the then Spanish Prime Minister, Manuel Azaña, so it was replaced in 1936. The original name, Azana means wheel (Arab-Moorish word). The town is now called "Numancia", after the regiment which captured it and "Sagra" for the region it belongs to.
The memory of Franco is still present in the names of the streets, squares and avenues of various towns and cities. There are also streets, avenues and squares in many cities and towns in Spain with names of generals from during the Civil War and the Nationalist party, military commanders such as Mola, Sanjurjo, Moscardó, Yagüe and Millán Astray. Other names from the Franco time were used, such as José Antonio Primo de Rivera, Ramiro Ledesma, Onésimo Redondo, José Calvo Sotelo, etc.. Those that did not have a personal relationship with Franco, were those who had died before or during the war; José Antonio Primo de Rivera, who was imprisoned, opposed the National Uprising and become part of the earlier conspiracy.
Removal of symbols
In January 1980 the Madrid city council decided to rename twenty downtown streets, returning them to the names they had before 14 April 1931, when the Second Republic was created. The Avenida del Generalísimo, which had been created since that date, became the Paseo de la Castellana. In 1981 the Avenida de José Antonio in Madrid was renamed La Gran Via. But despite the withdrawal of some of the symbols during the first years of the Transition, some symbols remained more than thirty years after his death.
The Spanish Historical Memory Law, approved by the Congress of Deputies on 31 October 2007, mandated the removal of commemorative plaques, statues and other symbols from public buildings. It also opened the public archives covering the period and facilitated the task of locating and exhuming the graves of victims. Under the 2007 law introduced by the socialist government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, fascist symbols had to be removed from public view, and streets and plazas that honored Franco and his entourage had to be renamed. The law was criticized by both left-wing and right-wing observers, for being too lenient or too severe. A historian said that by focusing on the abuses committed by Franco the government was presenting the left-wing republican government in too favorable a light, ignoring the many problems of the feuding socialist, anarchist, communist and separatist groups.
In 2010 the department of National Heritage stopped offering tours of Franco's private quarters in the Royal Palace of El Pardo, although tours of the older parts of the palace with "high artistic value" would continue. In December 2010 the Valle de los Caidos was reopened, but with tight security systems to prevent vandalism or destruction by militant members of victims' associations. As of 2011 the government was considering exhuming Franco's body from the Valle de los Caidos and reburying it beside his wife in a municipal cemetery. There were some protests, but many supported the plan to transform the site into a place of reconciliation, with plaques to explain the past. Ramón Jáuregui, the responsible minister, said, "We have dealt with the past little by little. Maybe we're tackling this site a little late, but prudence has been the key to our peaceful transition."
There was much debate regarding symbols that might affect the Church, so an exception was introduced for religious reasons, and an exception made for monuments with particular artistic value. There are some emblematic symbols such as the yoke and arrows on the Casa Sindical (a brick tower facing the Museo del Prado) and the Central Headquarters of the Movimiento, the Alcalá de Madrid which was built in a rationalist style.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Symbols of Francoism.|
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- "Mapa de la Memoria (Memorial map)" (in Spanish). Asturias Opinión. Retrieved 2012-08-12.