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Catalan Nationalist Flags (Spain)

Last modified: 2013-12-16 by eugene ipavec
Keywords: catalonia | star | star (red) | star (yellow) | triangle: hoist (blue) | triangle: hoist (red) | triangle: hoist (yellow) | canton (blue) | estelada | paisos catalans | catalan countries |
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Federal State of Catalonia Proposal, 1873

Reconstruction From Written Description
['Federal State of Catalonia' Proposal, 1873 (Catalonia, Spain)]
image by Jaume Ollé, 09 Nov 2003

The Aragonese vexillologist Luis Sorando Muzas provides some info on a flag for a Federal State of Catalonia:

On 12 February 1873 was hoisted in the balcony of the Barcelona Majoralty the federal flag of Catalonia, red with white [hoist] triangle bearing the red letters DEMOCRACIA. Sourronding (the triangle) were several white stars* and, in great letters, the word CATALUÑA**.

Source: Barcelona Daily News (Diario de Barcelona)

*Notice that after 1715 Catalan was legally forbidden and substitued with Castilian by royal decree (the famous Nueva Planta Decree) and only restablished in 1931-38 and then later in 1980 to present. The inscriptions must have been in Castilian by legal imperative, and even perhaps by lacking of adequate writing normative, and furthermore this was still before the national rebirth of the early XX century.

** I believe that stars must represent Catalonia, Aragon, Valencia, Baleares, Murcia (Albacete-Murcia), Castilla la Nueva (including Madrid, but not Albacete), Castilla la Vieja (including Cantabria and Rioja), Leon (Leon-Zamora-Salamanca), Galicia, Asturias, Extremadura, Andalucia, Canarias, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Filipinas, Basque lands, and Navarra, (or a single star for Basque lands including Navarra), and the remaining for Portugal, suposed to be part of an Iberic federation), but I will enjoy hearing other opinions.

Jaume Ollé, 09 Nov 2003

Why 18 stars? I would guess a smaller number of discernible stars aligned with the two (fly) sides of the triangle would correspond better with the above description ("Alrededor están puestas varias estrellas").

Also, since the text mentioning "CATALUÑA" is in that same sentence, I would guess that the letters making up that word would also follow the shape of the triangle. This is also suggested by the fact that the letters forming the word "CATALUÑA," and not the word itself, are described as big ("en grandes letras la palabra CATALUÑA").

Finally, why would "CATALUÑA" appear in yellow and not white – as the stars and triangle?

Santiago Dotor, 19 Nov 2003


Estelada

['Estelada' (Catalonia, Spain)]
image by Jorge Candeias
First used 1918

The flag of Catalonia with a blue hoist triangle and white star in it, was designed around 1904 by Catalan nationalists who had returned from Cuba after its independence in 1902, taking the Cuban flag as model. It was adopted as the flag of the Estat Catala (Catalan State) party, which proposed the creation of an independent Catalan state, the flag of which would include a blue triangle (since the flag without triangle is considered the flag of the Catalan nation but not of the state). The nickname of this flag is estelada, which means "starry." It became so popular that it was one of the two flags used on 14 April 1931 in the proclamation of the Catalan Republic (a short-lived republic that was rescinded within one week under pressure from the Spanish Republican government). The Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya party, which governed Catalonia between 1931 and 1939 adopted the flag and afterwards merged with the Estat Catala party.

I think that this flag is currently used also by the PI [Partit per la Independencia or Party for Independence, a spin-off from ERC] but I'm not sure.

The official Catalan flag is 2:3. Unofficial and independentist flags are normally 2:3, but of course no regulation exists.

There exist other designs (red triangle and yellow star; blue canton with white star) with a very limited use. There is also a design in which the triangle is narrower.

Jaume Ollé, 16 Jun 1996 and 18 Jul 1998

This flag is not only used by the Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya party, but also by right-wing separatists.

Salva, 01 Apr 1997

I saw this flag in the Pyrenées-Orientales (French department roughly corresponding to the Roussillon region, i.e. to French Catalonia) at what seemed to be a popular celebration.

Thanh-Tâm Lê, 16 Mar 1999

It is a Senyera, the flag of Catalunya, which has four red horizontal stripes in a yellow field. Here a blue isosceles triangle at the hoist containing a white 5-point star is added. This flag was created at the beginning of the 20th century. Its prototype was the flag of the young nation of Cuba, which had become an independent state on 20 May 1902, and it expressed the desires of the Catalan countries of forming an own nation, independent from Spain.

Source: Gabriel Bibiloni

Klaus-Michael Schneider, 05 Jun 2009

Variant With Darker Blue

[Estelada variant (Catalonia, Spain)]
image by Volker Liebermann and Eugene Ipavec, 20 Aug 2004
 
 
 

Variants With "Fat" Star

[Estelada variant (Catalonia, Spain)]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 12 Jun 2009
[Estelada variant (Catalonia, Spain)]
image by Eugene Ipavec and Klaus-Michael Schneider, 12 Jun 2009
 
 
 

I recently saw another variation. The Reus headquarters of Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (a center-left independentist party) flies the flag of the party. It is absolutely new so it must be the official one: it is the estelada but with the white star in different form, like the star in the old Vietnamese flag.

Jaume Ollé, 16 Jun 1996 and 18 Jul 1998

The shade of blue seems to be darker on Gabriel Bibiloni's site, and the star is shaped somehow thicker.

Klaus-Michael Schneider, 09 Jun 2009

Other Variants

[Estelada variant – 'Catalan Countries' proposal (Catalonia, Spain)]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 12 Jun 2009
[Estelada variant (Catalonia, Spain)]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 12 Jun 2009
[Estelada variant (Catalonia, Spain)]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 12 Jun 2009
 
 
 

Certainly there exist several versions: yellow triangle with red star is the most used by leftists, but also white with red star, black with red star, green with red star, etc. Adolf Duran reported that near all the combinations are used by some group or organization, but I have not seen them.

Jaume Ollé, 16 Jun 1996 and 18 Jul 1998

"Canton" Variant
[Estelada variant – 'Catalan Countries' proposal (Catalonia, Spain)]
image by Jorge Candeias
"Obtuse Triangle" Variant
[Estelada variant – 'Catalan Countries' proposal (Catalonia, Spain)]
image by Jorge Candeias
 
 
 

Catalan Countries Proposal

Països Catalans

['Catalan Countries' proposal (Catalonia, Spain)]
image by Jorge Candeias

This flag is used by Catalan independentist leftist nationalists who propose the creation of an independent Republic of the Catalan Countries containing all Catalan-speaking territories [so-called Països Catalans, Catalan Countries], that is to say Catalonia, Valencia, Balearic Islands, Rousillion [France] and Alghero in Sardinia [Italy]. The red star represents the socialist ideology of the nationalists, but it has been admitted additionally nationalistic not socialistic. This flag was adopted for the PSAN (National Liberation Socialist Party) in 1976, when a fraction of the party left to create the MUM, which retained the old PSAN flag (white triangle). This is not the flag of the Catalan Countries, which should be the same of Catalonia, just an independentist leftist proposal.

Jaume Ollé, 16 Jun 1996 and 18 Jul 1998


Democratic Union of Catalonia (1977)

Unio Democratica de Catalunya

[Estelada variant (Catalonia, Spain)]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 12 Jun 2009

Emil Dreyer reported some Catalan party flags in use in 1977, including the Unio Democratica de Catalunya (still exists): white with rectangular Catalan flag in center but the bars in vertical. Name written in white part (UNIO at hoist; DEMOCRATICA above; DE, in fly; and CATALUNYA, below).

Jaume Ollé, 29 Aug 1999


National Front of Catalonia (1977)

Front Nacional de Catalunya

[Estelada variant (Catalonia, Spain)]
image by Eugene Ipavec and Jorge Candeias, 12 Jun 2009

Emil Dreyer reported some Catalan party flags in use in 1977, including the Front Nacional de Catalunya (merged later with Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya): Catalan flag with vertical bars and blue band with white star at hoist.

Jaume Ollé, 29 Aug 1999


Socialist Party of National Liberation (1977)

Partit Socialista d'Alliberament Nacional

[Estelada variant (Catalonia, Spain)]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 12 Jun 2009

Emil Dreyer reported some Catalan party flags in use in 1977, including the Partit Socialista d'Alliberament Nacional (PSAN, I believe that it still exists): Catalan flag with white triangle at hoist with red star.

Jaume Ollé, 29 Aug 1999


Movement for the Defense of the Land

Moviment de Defensa de la Terra (MDT)

[ (Catalonia, Spain)]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 17 Nov 2009

A photo of the flag of the Moviment de Defensa de la Terra (MDT) can be seen here.

Elias Granqvist and Eugene Ipavec, 29 Oct and 17 Nov 2009


Catalan Patriotic Movement -MPC-

Moviment Patriotic Catala -MPC-

[Moviment Patriotic Catala -MPC- (Spain)]
image by Jose C. Alegria, 10 Mar 2006

A flag I have not found at FOTW, seen in recent street demonstrations and football stadiums, is that of the Catalonian political movement called "Moviment Patriotic Catala -MPC-" (image taken from their website) and their youth wing Batzegada.

The flag was published in SEV's bulletin "Gaceta de Banderas," issue 90.

Jose C. Alegria, 10 Mar 2006


Global Revolt

Revolta Global

[Revolta Global (Catalonia, Spain)]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 09 Jun 2009
[Revolta Global (Catalonia, Spain)]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 09 Jun 2009
[Revolta Global (Catalonia, Spain)]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 09 Jun 2009
 
 
 

I have a photograph of a parade/demonstration (?) on the first of May, in Barcelona. Prominent in this photograph were flags saying "Revolta Global" I expect representing this organization. A variation or the main flag in a different colour is visible twice in the photograph.

Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 19 May 2007

The Revolta Global flag evidently comes in three flavors: red-yellow (the Catalan colors, default), violet-white (less frequent), green-white (positively rare, only one example located.)

Eugene Ipavec, 09 Jun 2009


Free Land

Terra Lliure

[Terra Lliure (Catalonia, Spain)]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 09 Jun 2009
[Terra Lliure (Catalonia, Spain)]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 09 Jun 2009
 
 

Terra Lliure is, or was, an armed separatist group with the goal of independence for the Catalonian Countries (Catalonian-speaking regions in Spain and France). Here and here there are some photos and logos. I'm not sure if Terra Lliure's flags were really different or if they used principally some variant of the Catalonian estelada or a defaced estelada.

Francisco Santos, 11 Apr 2003

The flag of Terra Lliure was the yellow estelada (the best-known is the blue estelada, and the white estelada is also common, other colors are less used) with the organization's emblem. As you can see in this photo, the emblem was added with transparent adhesive to a home-made flag, but some exemplars of the flag were really manufactured in the Catalan territory under French administration, though it seems there were only a half-dozen. The lack of flags moved the supporters to use several self-made variants. I searched for many years about this topic, because I never saw a flag of Terra Lliure; I live in a provincial town where political movements are less represented, but a commando cell of Terra Lliure acted here, and I saw the results but never the flag. I know one of the members of this cell and about two years ago he gave me some details that he remembers, but unluckily he doesn't remember too much about flags.

Jaume Ollé, 11 Apr 2003


Catalan spoken here Flag

['Catalan spoken here' flag (Catalonia, Spain)]
image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 21 Dec 1998

A flag meaning "Catalan spoken" I saw in Valencia in 1993. It's a white background with a large comic-speak "balloon" outlined and shadowed in black and filled with the senyera: four red stripes on a yellow background. I suppose this was a leftover from some kind of language campaign in the mid-80s; I seem to recall the Catalan standardization campaign "El català, cosa de tots" had a similar logo...

António Martins-Tuválkin, 21 Dec 1998