Flag of Spain
The Spanish flag. The flag of Spain has three horizontal bands of red, yellow and red, with the national coat of arms on the hoist side of the yellow band.
The Spanish flag has undergone various changes over its history. The red and yellow flag we know today, often referred to in Spanish as the rojigualda, was originally designed after the flag of the Spanish merchant and war marines during the reign of Carlos III (1785). The first flag to represent all of Spain was the Cross of Burgundy, which was used until 1793 and which continued to be used as an ensign of the Spanish Empire until 1898.
During the period of Spain’s 2nd Republic (1931-39), the national flag bore the colors red, yellow, and purple, in three horizontal bands. Under the dictatorship of Francisco Franco, the flag lost the color purple that had appeared on the Republican flag, and incorporated two important symbols: the eagle and the shield of the Catholic monarchy.
In 1977, two years after Franco's death, the eagle was slightly modified, and in 1981 it would disappear completely, leaving the current red/yellow/red with crowned arms.
The new Spanish flag has three horizontal bands of red (top), yellow (double width) and red, with the national coat of arms on the hoist side of the yellow band. The shield includes the royal seal, which is flanked by two crowned pillars (the Pillars of Hercules) bearing the inscription Plus Ultra.
According to Spanish legislation, the height of the coat of arms should measure two fifths of the flag's width (i.e. hoist), and should appear in the middle of the yellow stripe. The flag's usual proportions are a length measuring three halves its width, in which case the distance from the hoist of the shield's vertical axis should be half the flag's width. In other instances (should the flag be either shorter in length or square) the coat of arms should appear in the center.