The flag of Spain – the symbol of the European state situated in southwestern Europe.
The flag consists of the unequal red and yellow horizontal bars and a coat of arms of the country. The coat of arms includes the basic shield of the old Spain, the Pillars of Hercules, and the crown which is placed to honor the role of the monarchy in the current Spanish state. It also represents Castile, Leon, Aragon, Navarre, and Grenada. The inscription, “Plus Ultra” represent the lands in the west direction from Gibraltar. The colors of the flag have no official meaning, except the fact they are traditional colors of Spain.
The design of the current flag was introduced in 1785. Since then the basic design of this version remained unchanged (the exception is the Spanish Republic of 1931-1939, the flag of which consisted of equal red, yellow, purple horizontal bars). In 1931, however, the crowned shield of Castile and Leon was removed, and in 1938 on its placed the Spanish coat of arms was put. The flag of this version existed during the regime of General Francisco Franco. The king Juan Carlos, after Franco’s death, called for a new coat of arms. Thus, the current design of the flag was adopted in 1981.
The flag of Spain (Spanish: Bandera de España), as it is defined in the Spanish Constitution of 1978, consists of three horizontal stripes: red, yellow and red, the yellow stripe being twice the size of each red stripe. Traditionally, the middle stripe was defined by the more archaic term of gualda, and hence the popular name rojigualda (red-weld).
The origin of the current flag of Spain is the naval ensign of 1785, Pabellón de la Marina de Guerra under Charles III of Spain. It was chosen by Charles III himself among 12 different flags designed by Antonio Valdés y Bazán (all projected flags were presented in a drawing which is in the Naval Museum of Madrid). The flag remained marine for much of the next 50 years, flying over coastal fortresses, marine barracks and other naval property. During the Peninsular War the flag could also be found on marine regiments fighting inland. Not until 1820 was the first Spanish land unit (The La Princesa Regiment) provided with one and it was not until 1843 that Queen Isabella II of Spain would make the flag official.
Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, the color scheme of the flag remained intact, with the exception of the Second Republic period (1931–1939); the only changes centered on the coat of arms.