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Last modified: 2017-02-04 by ivan sache
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Flag of Andalusia, two versions - Images by Antonio Gutiérrez, 27 November 2000
External site of interest:
The flag of Andalusia, originally designed by Blas Infante, is prescribed by Organic Law No. 6 of 30 December 1981, published on 9 January 1982 in the Spanish official gazette.
The flag shall be flown on the 4th of December, the National Day of Andalusia.
The flag is horizontally divided green-white-green. Colour specification for the green shade are given in official docuents as:
- CIELAB: HCL 180.0 / 35.0 / 38.0, with a tolerance of five units;
- CIE 1931: Yxy 6.7 / 0.203 / 0.359.
The flag of can be used either with or without the coat of arms in the middle.
Jaume Ollé, Jesús Vergara & Santiago Dotor, 6 June 2005
Detail of the flag of Andalusia - Image by Klaus-Micheal Schneider, 15 December 2009
The coat of arms shows Hercules standing between two white pillars with yellow Ionic capitals, clad in the pelt of the Nemean Lion, separating two other lions from one another. Hercules and the lions are white, while the pelt and the manes of the lions are brownish. The tops of the pillars are connected by an embowed green-white-green triband. On the white stripe is a Latin inscription in black capitals "DOMINATOR HERCVLES FUNDATOR" (Lord Hercules Founder). Beneath the feet of the group is a horizontal green-white-green triband, framed yellow, upon which are centred Spanish inscriptions in black capitals: "ANDALVCÍA POR SÍ" (upper green stripe) "PARA ESPAÑA" (middle white stripe) "Y LA HVMANIDAD" (lower green stripe), meaning "Andalusia by herself, for Spain and all mankind". Andalusia is being personified here as female.
Klaus-Micheal Schneider, 15 December 2009
Though the current Andalusian flag was first established by the nationalist movement in 1918, the use of green and white in flags can be traced in Andalusia back to the Middle Ages. In the battle of Alarcos (1195), marking the highest point of the Almohad power, the Andalusian volunteers fought under a green banner, and to celebrate their victory this banner was hoisted together with the Almohads' white one atop Seville's main minaret. This is the first time we have an account of green and white waving together - though on different cloths - in Andalusia. There is also a Muslim legend saying that a holy man preaching in the villages of the Atlas Mountains had a vision of an angel showing to him an empire united on both sides of the Straits of Gibraltar, with the green paradise of Al-Andalus and the white Maghreb of the Almohads.
The last Muslim kingdom of Andalusia, that of Granada, is the only one that can be identified with a specifical flag or banner, being red. Nevertheless, most of the banners taken by the Castilians from the Granadians in 1483 bore the white and green colors.
With the launching of the American enterprise, where the Andalusians played an essential role, green and white striped flags began to be frequently seen on ships, as in those shown in the painting Virgen de los Navegantes (Virgin of the Sailors), by Alejo Fernández, preserved in Seville's Alcazar.
In 1521, the people of Seville, rioting against food shortage, marched behind a green banner taken from the Moors by Alfonso X, an episode known as "The Green Banner Riot".
José Manuel Erbez, 19 May 2000
Revolt flag, 1642 - Image by António Martins, 19 May 2000
The first and only serious attempt of making Andalusia a political entity separate from the Kingdom of Spain was led under a green and white flag. It was the rebellion of the Duke of Medina Sidonia, who in 1642 tried to create an independent Andalusian kingdom, with himself as king. A flag vertically divided green and white would be the common sign of his alliance with the Moriscos (Muslim converts) led by Al Hörr, who should rise up in Eastern Andalusia.
After these events, and probably because of them, there is no further evidence of the use of those colors as representative of Andalusia. Nevertheless, some reminiscences should remain in the people's memory to make possible their return three centuries later. The physical disappearance of the Arab-Muslim population by means of their expulsion, or the melting of the cultural identity of those who remained when they became fully integrated in the bulk of the population, gave step to the myth of the identification between the Arabian or Moorish culture and the Andalusian culture.
And probably the memory of green and white flags, often with a rebellious meaning, had something to do with that fact. Blas Infante, the founder of Andalusian nationalism, wrote that the idea of the Andalusian flag was suggested by a demonstration of protest by the women of Casares (Province of Málaga), his home town, bearing a horizontally divided green and white flag; Casares is precisely located in an area of strong Morisco tradition.
José Manuel Erbez, 19 May 2000
Antequera Congress (1883)
Flags proposed at the Antequera Congress - Images by Jorge Candeias & António Martins, 7 June 1999
In the second half of the 19th Century, the idea of Andalusia as a region with its own identity and the aspiration to self-government were explicitly claimed, in the framework of federalist-minded movements and of the rise of regionalisms and nationalisms all over Spain. In those first times there was not yet a clear conscience of Andalusia, swinging from expansionist proposals, seeking to include Murcia or Badajoz, to other "disintegrationist" ideas, proposing separate entities for Eastern and Western, or Higher and Lower, or Baetic and Penibaetic Andalusia.
In 1869 took place in Córdoba one of the so-called federal pacts, also held simultaneously in other regions; as a sign of what was said above, it was attended by representatives from Murcia and Badajoz, areas where the regional consciousness was weaker and therefore where the inhabitants considered themselves as Andalusians, an idea that would last until late the 20th century. The ideas raised in this first meeting would materialized in 1883 in the First Charter of the Andalusian Country, proposing a Federation of Andalusian Republics, under this or another name. The deep anarcho-sindicalist influence resulted in the wide use of red and black in the flag proposals for this hypothetical entity, though always together with white and green, that stood out as undisputed Andalusian colors.
This way, one proposal consisted in four horizontal stripes: black, red, white and green, other had three horizontal stripes, black, white and green, and a third one would be red, white and green.
José Manuel Erbez, 19 May 2000
Andalucist Assembly (Ronda, 1918)
The Andalucist Assembly was eventually held in 1918 in Ronda (Province of Málaga), where it was proclaimed that the flag of Andalusia should consist on three horizontal stripes of equal width, green, white and green. Blas Infante justified the election of these colors as corresponding, the green, to the Caliphate of Córdoba - which, from the historical point of view, is rather arguable, since the color traditionally related to this dynasty is white - and the white, to the Almohad Empire, considering that these were the two periods when a political power centered in Andalusia reached the highest glory. According to this idea, the specific shade of green, rather dark, was called "Umayyad green"; this denomination was officially recognized by the Andalusian Autonomous Government. Together with this historical meaning would co-exist a symbolical meaning, identifying green with hope and white with peace, as expressed by the regional anthem:
The green and white flag
returns after centuries of war
to say peace and hope
under the sun of our land.
José Manuel Erbez, 19 May 2000
Flag of Andalucía Oriental, proposed by the Plataforma por Andalucía Oriental (website), two versions - Images by Eugene Ipavec, 4 October 2010
A proposed Region del Sureste or Andalucía Oriental would comprise the three Provinces of Almería, Granada and Jaén.
The claim is for a legal autonomous community, as allowed by Article 143 of the Spanish Constitution. The proposers wants to get rid of centralism and "cultural colonialism" allegedly imposed by Seville, the capital of Andalusia. A proposal of Eastern Andalusia mancomunidad already emerged in 1924. If ever accepted, the entity could probably submit a flag design for approval by the General Directorate of Local Administration, following the same procedure as for the provincial, municipal and submunicipal flags.
Valentin Poposki & Ivan Sache, 3 July 2009
Proposed flag of Eastern Andalusia - Image by Eugene Ipavec, 4 April 2010
Autonomy for Eastern Andalusia was proposed in 1976-1977. A flag for the territory was designed but never used officially. All of Andalusia obtained a pre-autonomy status in 1977.
Jaume Ollé, 15 December 1996
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