The Spanish Flag

The Spanish flag has two horizontal red stripes, top and bottom, with a yellow larger stripe in the center. The Spanish coat of arms sits on the yellow stripe.

Yellow represents generosity while red is a symbol for bravery and strength. The Spanish words for colors are "amarillo", for yellow and "rojo", for red.

Flag Spain

The coat of arms consists of several pictorial components - pillars, an escutcheon and imperial crowns. The pillars are those of Hercules. In ancient times the Strait of Gibraltar, in the south of Spain, was referred to as the Pillars of Hercules.

The legend says that Hercules needed to cross the mountain of Atlas. Instead, he used his prodigious strength to smash through the mountain, creating the separation between Spain and beyond, with a mountain on either side. The mountains (Gibraltar and Ceuta) became known as the Pillars of Hercules. During the renaissance, the pillars had a warning in Latin, “Nec Plus Ultra”, which means “nothing further beyond” and warned sailors not to go any further. In the Spanish coat of arms, the pillars say “Plus Ultra” which means “further beyond”. Spain has gone "further beyond", during all the explorations and the pillars are now seen as the gateway to beyond, rather than a limit.

Spanish Coat of Arms

The pillars are topped by Royal crowns, which originated with King Charles I of Spain, who was the first to use the pillars in his coat of arms.

The escutcheon is divided into four quadrants representing the different kingdoms, dating back to olden times.

The Kingdom of Castile is represented by the gold castle, in the upper left quadrant of the escutcheon. The Castile region was in the center of Spain.

Directly below are stripes of Aragon, in yellow and red. The Kindgom of Aragon dates back to the 14th century and was in the eastern region of Spain, including Barcelona.

The upper left quadrant contains the red lion, symbolizing the Kingdom of León, which was in the northwest region of the Iberian peninsula. Directly below, the Kingdom of Navarre is represented by gold chains, which were on the flag of Navarre. Navarre was located in Northern Spain, bordering the Atlantic Ocean.

In the center, are the fleur de lis, from the house of Bourbon, which ruled Navarre in the 1500’s and Spain in 1700. It is spelled Borbón, in Spain.

At the very bottom of the coat of arms is the pomegranate flower, representing the Kingdom of Granada. Granada means pomegranate in Spanish. Granada is located southern Spain.

The Spanish flag was an evolution; today’s flag dates back to 1981.

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