The Spanish Language Blog

The Spanish flag

The Spanish flag is probably one of the most distinctive flags of European countries. The Spanish flag has caused the colors yellow and red to be seen as the national colors of Spain.

The current Spanish flag went into use on Dec. 19, 1981. The flag consists of two red strips and one yellow strip. The yellow strip is the same height as the two red strips together. The colors red and yellow have been used on the flag of Spain since 1785 and were chosen because, according to King Charles III, these colors would stand out.

The coat of arms of Spain

The left half of the yellow strip depicts the coat of arms of Spain. This coat of arms has undergone many changes in recent centuries. In fact, until 1981, the coat of arms was adorned by an eagle. The coat of arms of Spain consists of 8 different parts. At the top left of the coat of arms is a yellow tower symbolizing the region of Castile. On the upper right is a crowned lion symbolizing the region of León. The four red stripes in the lower left symbolize Aragon. The gold chain with the emerald in the lower right represents Navarre. The pomegranate in the bottom center represents Granada. The three lilies in the center of the coat of arms symbolize Bourbon, home to the royal house. Finally, the coat of arms is crowned with a crown, reflecting the royal crown.

The pillars on the side of the shield are also called the "Pillars of Hercules," the former name of the Strait of Gibraltar. The red ribbon wrapped around the pillars says "plus ultra" which means, "beyond. With this, the coat of arms of Spain includes the former Spanish territories in the Americas.

The Spanish flag without the coat of arms is also commonly used by Spanish citizens and is also called the civil flag. The flag should not officially be hung out between sunset and sunrise, however, Spanish embassies are an exception to this.

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