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Spain: Royal standard

Last modified: 2021-05-22 by ivan sache
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Royal standard of Felipe VI - Image by Zoltán Horváth, 19 June 2014


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Royal standard of Felipe VI

The Royal standard was hoisted when Felipe VI, the new king of Spain, entered the Zarsuela palace in Madrid (photo). It was hoisted on the balcony, where the King was presentd to the people. The standard was, however, purple and not blue, which even surprised the reporter.
Indeed, Felipe VI returned to tradition and a purple (crismon) flag (official image) was adopted as his Royal standard, together with renewed coat of arms (official image).
[One Magazine, 2 June 2014]

Jan-Patrick Fischer, Jose C. Alegria, Luis Miguel Arias, and Zoltán Horváth, 19 June 2014


Royal standard of Juan Carlos I

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Royal standard of Juan Carlos I - Image by Luis Miguel Arias, 26 February 2004

Juan Carlos' standard was square, blue field with the Royal coat of arms in the center.
The 1971 and 1977 regulations make reference to two flags: the guión, which may be translated as "guidon" in the medieval sense of "the flag that indicates the king's position", and the estandarte or standard. The guidon is defined in the first place, as a very specific flag, with fixed dimensions: 80 cm in side, the coat of arms 44 cm in height, a fringe 22 mm in width, precise material, etc. Only later, the standard is defined as usual, looking like the guidon without the fringe, within a certain range of sizes.


Royal arms

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Royal arms - Image by Luis Miguel Arias, 26 February 2004

The Royal coat of arms is only defined as a part of the flag, like the the fringe, for instance, instead of being defined as a separate emblem, which the king shall use in many other cases stationery, seals, tapestries etc.

The lion in the Royal arms is not purpure, as in the national arms, but gules (red). Compared to the arms of the last kings of Spain, Alfonso XII and Alfonso XIII, the current royal arms have only the quarterings in the modern national arms and incorporate the Cross of Burgundy (with several interpretations, one of which is to show that King John Charles joins both the official and the Carlist claims to the throne), the yoke and arrows of the Catholic Kings (Elisabeth and Ferdinand) and the Collar of the Order of the Golden Fleece.
The yoke and arrows, as well as the Cross of Burgundy were incorporated to the Prince's (later King's) standard in 1971 as "the symbols of the National Movement" (the single party under General Franco's regime), and remained there after the transition to democracy.
For some odd reason, the emerald is missing at the centre of the Navarre arms on the Royal standard, as described in the 1971 and 1977 Decree.

Santiago Dotor, 4 September 2001


Standard of Felipe, Prince of Asturias

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Standard and arms of the Prince of Asturias - Images by Santiago Dotor, 19 March 2001

The guidon and standards of the Prince of Asturias (Felipe de Borbó crowned King as Felipe VI in 2014) is prescribed by Royal Decree No. 284, adopted on 16 March 2001 and published on 17 March 2001 in the Spanish official gazette, No. 66, pp. 9,936-9,937 (text).
The colour of the flag is prescribed as the same as for the flag of Asturias (Pantone 829).

The arms as depicted in the Royal Decree follow neither the official design of the King's qrms nor that of the national arms. Instead the design seems very similar in style to the greater arms of Spain as they appear on Philip II's mausoleum at the monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial. The lion is almost identical in all three cases. The castle used on the new Prince's arms is different from the other two but still is heraldically more correct. It looks like a proper heraldical castle, rather than as a tower with three more thin towers emerging from it which is how it looks like both in the "official" design of the Spanish arms and in those used by the king.

The new standard of the Prince of Asturias was used for the first time on board of the Juan Sebastián Elcano, the tall ship of the Spanish Navy, when it sailed close to the coast of Gijón (Asturias) on 12 July 2001. Prince Felipe was on board and wanted to get close to the Asturian coast in his first trip to this region since the standard was approved. The ship, on her way from Santander to Marín, sailed into Gijón Bay and hoisted, at that point, the Royal standard at the top of the main mast.

Santiago Dotor & , 9 September 2002


Standard of the Queen and Infantas

According to Regulation No. 213-S/432/94, released on 8 April 1994 by theJoint Defense Staff (EMACON), the Royal standard could also be used by the Queen and the King's daughters (Infantas). The Regulation originally included the Prince of Asturias, but this was suppressed with the adoption of his own standard in March 2001.
The regulation mentions that this was also done "in earlier times." However, the standard for the King's children until 1931 was a swallow-tailed variant of the Royal standard.

Luis Miguel Arias & Santiago Dotor, 11 September 2002


Royal yachts

On his yachts, all named Fortuna, the King usually flew at the stern the yacht ensign and the Royal standard at the boat's centre. Most time he flew the burgee of the local sailing club, too (for instance, Real Club Náutico de Palma Yacht Club). However, he flew at the stern on special occasions the flag of the Spanish Sailing Federation, which is similar to the yacht flag. Until 1931, Alfonso XIII, and before him, his father Alfonso XII, always used at the stern on his royal sailing yacht Giralda the flag of the Spanish Federation of Nautical Clubs.

Emil Dreyer & José Carlos Alegria, 25 June 2000


Standard of Juan Carlos as Prince of Asturias

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Standard and arms of Juan Carlos, Prince of Asturias - Images by Luis Miguel Arias, 26 February 2004

The standars of Juan Carlos when Prince of Asturias (1971-1975) was a square, dark blue flag with the Prince's coat of arms in the middle. Spanish heraldry makes little if any use of cadency marks, so the only difference between the King's and the Heir Prince's arms is the crown. The King's coat of arms has a Royal crown (with 8 arches, of which 5 are visible) while the Prince's coat of arms has a Prince's crown (with only 4 arches, of which 3 are visible).
The flag was abolished by the Law of 21 January 1977; it might have been re-adopted (for Prince Felipe) by Order No. 1, released on 13 May 1982 by the Army Staff, which corrected several errors in the Law adopted in 1977.

Santiago Dotor, 20 March 2001


Hermandad Nacional Monárquica de España

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Flag of HNME - Image by Ivan Sache, 23 February 2020

Hermandad Nacional Monárquica de España (HNME - Spain Monarchic National Brotherhood; website) is a non-profit organization supporting the Spanish Constitution and the Parliamentary Monarchy. Its aim is to promote the monarchic institution and its values to the profit of Spain and Spaniards.
The organization played a key role in Franco's succession and the monarchic restoration.
HNME is the legitimate continuation of Hermandad Nacional Monárquica del Maestrazgo (HNMM), a civil and cultural institution established on 21 October 1961 by Ramón Forcadell y Prats and presented to the public on 21 October 1962. The institution was indeed created informally in the 1940s with the strong aim to restore the Spanish monarchy after the death of Franco.
HNMM split in 1965 into two branches, supporting a Borbonic and a Carlist restoration, respectively. Forcadell y Prats and most of the HNMM Board joined the Borbonic cause represented by Juan Carlos de Borbón y Borbón-Dos Sicilia. This choice was "validated" on 25 November 1965 by the Francoist minister Manuel Fraga Iribarne, establishing the Borbonic branch as the sole promoter of the monarchic restoration.

On 14 December 1966, a referendum approved the planned return to monarchy, yielding 96% of supportive votes. In March 1967, the members of HNMM gathered in Vinaró:z (Castellón) plead allegiance and loyalty to the Borbonic cause, represented by Juan Carlos.
On 22 July 1969, Franco proposed to the Cortes Juan Carlos as his successor, with the title of king. The proposal was accepted by 491 representatives, rejected by another 19, while 15 abstained from voting. The same day, Juan Carlos solemnly accepted to be appointed Prince of Spain and Crown Heir. This was prescribed by Law No. 69 issued on 22 July 1969 by the Spanish Government and published on 23 July 1969 in the Spanish official gazette, No. 175, pp. 11,607-11,608 (text).
The proposed monarchic restoration was not unanimously received by the Spanish society; many rejected it as another accomplishment of the Francoist regime. HNMM entered the scene, organizing meetings, conferences and acts to favor Juan Carlos' recognition. In 1974, Ramón Carlos Forcadell y Guarch, son of the founder, was elected President of HNMM, which counted more than 30,000 members. In the aftermath of the coronation of Juan Carlos I on 22 November 1975, HNMM, whose main objective had been attained, significantly reduced its activity.

HNMM resumed activity in 2012. During the General Assembly held on 1 December, HNMM, inscribed since 22 March 1978 on the National Register of Associations, was renamed to HNME on 1 December 2012. Francisco Rodríguez Aguado, elected as the third President of HNMM and the first President of the refounded HNME, initiated the association's revival and dramatic changes in its management. The Statutes of the association (text) were last approved on 2 November 2019.

The flag (photo, photo, photo, photo, photo, photo, photo, photo, photo, photo, photo) and arms of HNME are prescribed in Title II (Symbols of the Brotherhood) the General Regulations of Symbols, Protocols and Honors, issued on 13 March 2018 (text).

Article 3.
The coat of arms [blazon] of HNME has the following heraldic description:
"Azure three fleurs-de-ls 2 and 1. A bordure gules (Bourbon-Anjou), proper to the reigning dynasty. The shield superimposed to a Cross of Burgundy, as the symbol of the Burgundian and Austrian forerunners. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown closed [description skipped]. The shield surrounded by the Greater Collar of HNME".

Article 5.
The flag approved by the General Assembly of HNME has the following characteristics:
"Rectangular flag, its horizontal sides 1/3 longer than the vertical [but the companion drawing shows the flag in the usual, 2:3 proportions], white, with the coat of arms of the brotherhood in the center, on both sides of the flag.

The coat of arms was adopted on 1 December 2012 when HNME was refounded, superseding the emblem of the former HNMM which was similar in design, but with a shield "Argent a cross coupé gules".
The Greater Collar of HNME is omitted from the blazon featured on the flag.

Ivan Sache, 23 February 2020