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Spain: Army flags, 1940-1945

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Army flags, 1940-1945, left, for military and official buildings, right, for forts and castles - Images by Luis Miguel Arias & Santiago Dotor, 24 September 2004

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Army flags

An Order of the Ministry of the Army dated 30 April 1940 established the shape and dimensions of Army flags, including two variants of the state and war flag and ensign.

A first flag is described thus:

Flags for barracks and other military buildings, as well as official centres, shall be made in a strong wool or cotton material, rectangular, and shall be 3.75 m long and 2.70 m wide, and bear in the middle of the yellow stripe the national arms, which may be superimposed or printed. The width of the stripes shall be of one metre the middle one and 85 cm each of the other two; the arms shall be 90 cm high and a proportionate width.

A second flag is described thus:

In forts and castles, and so that these flags can be seen at great distance, they shall be 5 m long and 3.60 m wide. The width of the stripes shall be 1.60 the middle one and one metre each of the other two. The height of the coat of arms shall be 1.5 metres and a proportionate width.

These flags are anomalous in that they have proportions of 18:25 and the three horizontal stripes do not follow the usual proportions 1:2:1. Also, the coat of arms is centred.
The Order states that for the first category of flags, the central (yellow) stripe would be 1 m (bearing a 1 m high arms) and the two red stripes 0.85 m each. This would imply that the stripes on that flag would not keep the 1:2:1 proportions, but 17:20:17, approx. 6:7:6. For the second category, those stripes would be 1.6 m (bearing a 1.5 m high arms) and 1 m respectively, which would imply a stripe proportions of 5:8:5.
This Order, quite nonsensical in appearance, seems to have followed actual practice as respects to dimensions. They were abolished on 11 October 1945, following the modification of the
coat of arms.

Luis Miguel Arias & Santiago Dotor, 14 September 2004

Erroneously reported coat of arms

This Order also established that the coat of arms has the same design as the 1938 model. The Order, however, included some ill-executed drawings of the model of the arms (pillars on the eagle's wings, the eagle holding them instead of the escutcheon), so different from the original design that many authors (for instance, Calvo and Grávalos [g2c83]) have reported it as a distinct, "1940-1945 model".

Luis Miguel Arias & Santiago Dotor, 17 April 2002