• In ongoing ‘War of the Flags’, PP government in Madrid wins temporary stays
• Local authorities hoist ‘tricolor’ flag to reassert legitimacy of Spanish Republic
In separate rulings at opposite ends of Spain this week, courts in Pamplona and Cádiz have ruled that the flag of the Second Spanish Republic, the standard of forces loyal to the Republican government overthrown in 1939 following the military uprising three years earlier that led to the 1936-39 Spanish Civil War, cannot be flown in Pamplona above the regional parliament building of Navarra nor outside the city hall of Cádiz, in Andalucia.
In the northern Spanish region of Navarra, the regional Tribunal Superior de Justicia de Navarra (High Court of Justice) has suspended a resolution reached by the Navarran parliament authorizing the flag be hoisted in a ceremony this Friday, 14th April, from the balcony of the parliamentary chambers, because the Republican flag is “not the constitutional flag of Spain”.
In Cádiz, a local court has ordered the municipal council to temporarily remove the Republican flag flying on the large flag pole since last week in the city’s main square as a precautionary measure, while the court hears arguments in connection with a legal complaint filed by the federal government in Madrid to have the flag permanently removed.
Over the past two years, in several cities, provinces and regions across Spain, a phenomenon that has been dubbed “the war of the flags” has been waged in plazas, on public buildings and ultimately in the courts. On the one hand, coalitions of local and national left-wing and populist political parties see the Republican tricolor flag as a symbol in their fight to reassert the legitimacy of the Republican government overthrown by forces fighting under Gen. Francisco Franco in the Spain’s bloody Civil War.
Opposing them in the courts is Spain’s conservative governing Partido Popular (PP), which seeks to enforce a constitutional ban against using any flag other than the current official flag of Spain, adopted by a consensus accord between Spain’s political parties following the death of Franco in 1975. The current official flag bears the same colours as that of the victorious forces fighting under Franco and does not incorporate the purple hallmark colour of the flag of the Republican government.