Spain´s flag (the national one) is as colorful as the country itself with its red and yellow horizontal triband.
The yellow stripe is in the middle and is twice as tall as each red band, and the height of the flag is two-thirds the width.
A simplified version of Spain´s coat-of-arms is pictured on the yellow band, towards the hoist side.
The Spanish coat-of-arms includes the royal seal, framed by the Pillars of Hercules, which represent Gibraltar and Ceuta on either side of the eastern end of the Strait of Gibraltar.
The red banners display the motto in Latin PLUS ULTRA, which means “More Beyond", alluding to Columbus´ discovery of the New World.
The two columns flank a shield that displays a castle, a lion wearing a crown, red and yellow vertical stripes, chain mail, and three fleurs-de-lis in an oval in the center.
An ornate red and golden crown sits atop the shield.
The flag used today in Spain was officially adopted on 19 December 1981. Previous to this, there had been an eagle on it as well but, in 1981, the eagle was removed, leaving the current red/yellow/red triband with crowned arms.
The red and golden-yellow colors of Spain´s flag were first used as long ago as the late 1700s by the King of Spain as he tried to easily differentiate his ships from those of other countries.
They were the original colors found within the coat-of-arms of both the Castile and Aragon regions of the country, the regions first united by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella.
There is a legend that holds that the colors of the flag of Spain are derived from the bullfight arena, the red respresenting the blood shed and the yellow the sand of the arena! However, this is just a legend and not based on historical facts!
The pledge to the Spanish flag is called the “Jura de Bandera", meaning “Oath of the Flag".
Spain is divided into 17 different regions or autonomous communities and each community also has its own regional flag.
However, the red-and-yellow national flag of Spain is recognized by all Spanish regions.
Now that you know all about Spain´s flag, why not come on out here and watch one flapping in the warm, Spanish breeze?
Linda Plummer is webmistress of Top Tour of Spain providing comprehensive information on Spain for travel, food, language or living.