Flag of the Second Spanish Republic

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"Spanish Republican Flag" redirects here. For the flag of the First Spanish Republic, see Flag of the First Spanish Republic.
Second Spanish Republic
Flag of Spain (1931 - 1939).svg
Name Tricolor
Use Civil and state flag, state ensign Design used in the past, but now abandoned
Proportion 3:5
Adopted 27 April 1931
Flag of the Second Spanish Republic (plain).svg
Variant flag of Second Spanish Republic
Name Bandera de la marina mercante (Civil Ensign)
Use Civil ensign Design used in the past, but now abandoned
Proportion 3:5
Flag of the Second Spanish Republic (military).svg
Variant flag of Second Spanish Republic
Name Bandera militar (Military Flag)
Use War flag and ensign Design used in the past, but now abandoned
Proportion 2:3

The Flag of the Second Spanish Republic, also known as Spanish: la tricolor, was the official flag of Spain between 1931 and 1939 and the flag of the Spanish Republican government in exile until 1977.

History[edit]

It began to be used on April 27, 1931, thirteen days after municipal elections results led to the abolition of the monarchy and the proclamation of the Second Spanish Republic.

This same flag had been previously displayed by certain Republican groups as an alternative to the red-and-yellow flag that was identified with the Bourbon monarchy in Spain. As a result of this previous use, the young republic proclaimed in 1931 eagerly adopted this symbol.[1]

The Republican flag was adopted on April 27 and presented to the army of the nation on May 6 with the following words:[2] "The national uprising against tyranny, victorious since April 14, has hoisted a flag that is invested by means of the feelings of the people with the double representation of the hope of freedom and of its irreversible triumph."

El alzamiento nacional contra la tiranía, victorioso desde el 14 de abril, ha enarbolado una enseña investida por el sentir del pueblo con la doble representación de una esperanza de libertad y de su triunfo irrevocable.

The Republican flag was formed by three horizontal bands of the same width, red, yellow, and murrey (mulberry-coloured). The National Flag would have the Spanish Republican coat of arms at the centre (quarterly of Castile, Leon, Aragon and Navarre, enté en point for Granada, ensigned by a mural crown, between the two Pillars of Hercules). This coat of arms originated in 1868 and had been used then by the Provisional Government and later by the First Spanish Republic. The civil ensign or merchant flag would be a simple tricolour without the coat of arms. There was also a military version of the flag with proportion 2:3.

The flag of the Second Spanish Republic was also used by the Spanish Maquis between the end of the Spanish Civil War and the early 1960s, and later by the Spanish National Liberation Front (FELN). Versions of this flag were used in the 1970s by the radical anti-Francoist groups Revolutionary Antifascist Patriotic Front (FRAP) and First of October Anti-Fascist Resistance Groups (GRAPO).

The Republican flag is now widely used by trade unions[3] and left-wing political organizations, such as United Left[4] and some factions of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party. It is also used by republican platforms.[5][6]

Colours[edit]

The Spanish Republican flag has three colours, red, yellow, and murrey, Spanish: morado.[7]

La bandera de la República española es roja, amarilla y morada...

The purpose of the third colour was to represent Castile and León, the proverbial "Pendón Morado" ancient armorial banner of Castile in the flag's colours, while the existing red and yellow symbolized the territories of the former Crown of Aragon.[8] These three colours symbolized a new era for Spain in which no part of Spain was excluded and every Spaniard would be represented.[1]

The morado colour[edit]

Spanish monarchists resented the morado of the new tricolor and a famous soleá was composed at the time when the flag began to be used. These verses indirectly also expressed unhappiness with the reforms introduced by the republican government:[9]

Me está jodiendo el morao,
que está junto al amarillo,
debajo del colorao.
I am bothered by the morado,
that is close to the yellow,
below the red.

Purple, as a generic term, was previously widely used as the heraldic colour of the Kingdom of Castile in antiquity, although the colour is prone to alterations or fading with time and use, resulting in one of the varieties of crimson or maroon. The Kingdom of León shield bore a purple lion rampant and the flag reputed to have been used at the Revolt of the Comuneros had a yellow castle on a purple background.

Flag of the comuneros
Arms of the Kingdom of León.

As it is an unusual colour for a flag, in practice the morado colour of the lower band could be violet, purple (purpure) or even lilac, according to the available materials and dyes in each location.[10]

Since the restoration of the monarchy in the last quarter of the 20th century there are authors that openly contradict former Spanish historians by proclaiming that the Castilian "Pendón Morado" never existed, that it was actually red.[11] The controversy is part of a probable attempt to demonstrate that the colours of the flag of the Second Spanish Republic are wrong. Still, sound historical documents prove that murrey-coloured banners were formerly used in Castile & Leon.[12] Until recently the official badge of the Real Madrid C.F. had a purple band based either on the Castilian or on the Spanish republican colours that was added after the proclamation of the Second Spanish Republic in 1931.[13][14] The colour of the band was changed from morado to navy blue in 2001 without sufficient explanation.[15]

Use of the flag[edit]

  • Civil use
  • Military use
  • Present-day use

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]