Constitutional graphic symbols of Spain and its autonomous communities

Michał Dankowski, Latin-American Studies Workshop in Roman Philology Institute of the University of Gdańsk
2018 Przegląd Prawa Konstytucyjnego  
Flags and coats of arms are graphic state symbols. They define national and regional identity. State and regional graphic symbols have a particularly important place in legal acts in Spain. Symbols of each autonomous community are listed in their statutes. Most of them refer to the rich historical and cultural tradition of the region. In only a few cases, it was necessary to create flags or coat of arms in connection with the establishment of an autonomous community in the early 1980s.
more » ... nie Konstytucyjne symbole graficzne Hiszpanii i jej wspólnot autonomicznych Flagi oraz herby są graficznymi symbolami państwowymi. Identyfikują one narodową I regionalną tożsamość. Szczególnie ważne miejsce graficzne symbole państwowe i regionalne znajdują w aktach prawnych w Hiszpanii. Symbole każdej ze wspólnot autonomicznych znajdują się w ich statutach. Większość z nich odwołuje się do bogatej tradycji historycznej I kulturowej regionów. Jedynie w niewielu przypadkach należało stworzyć flagi lub herby wraz z powołaniem wspólnot autonomicznych na początku lat 80. XX w. 342 PRZEGLĄD PRAWA KONSTYTUCYJNEGO 2018/6 * I. State and regional symbols are an important element of each state identity and its citizens. They are a link between the citizens and the state, integrating them 2 . Flags and coats of arms are graphic state symbols. Those symbols, defining national and regional identity are a particularly important element of legal acts in Spain. In contrast to the Constitution of Spain, which laconically defines the state symbols, the statutes of the autonomous regions usually precisely define the insignia used in every region. This is due to the complicated regional situation of Spain, a country entirely covered by autonomous communities. By virtue of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Spain of 1978, the "right to autonomy of nationalities and regions" was recognised and guaranteed 3 , as well as the right to have own flags and ensigns used together with flag and ensigns of Spain 4 . Highly developed regionalism had to translate into the creation of separateness also in symbolism and insignia, because "the colours and iconography of flags and state coats refer, apart from history, to the broadly understood geographical problems -the natural environment, population and economy of the country" 5 . Spain is characterised by a rich heraldic tradition, and the creation of autonomous communities has placed new regional authorities in the task of establishing insignia reminiscent to the local tradition. In cases of "historical regions", where regional identity has been well-established for a long time, there were No. difficulties with finding characteristic symbols, often even derived from ready-made solutions, as in the case of the señera or ikurriña. However, in regions that previously did not display autonomous claims, local authorities had to resolve this issue in a different way.
doi:10.15804/ppk.2018.06.28 fatcat:qikcn2ytwnd6fckduwyhvpbkti