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Monday, December 15, 2008

Another insult: Biscay Parliament forced to use the Spanish flag

In another of a series of these fascist rulings, the Spanish Supreme Tribunal has ruled that the Parliament of Biscay (
Bizkaiko Foru Aldundia, a historical autonomous entity with at least 800 years of history) must place the Spanish flag in their balcony and in a preferential site in the inetrior. Another similar sentence last Novemeber 27th forced the Basque Parliament to place the fascist ensign in their facade as well.

Why do I call the Spanish banner "fascist"? Because it was the flag imposed by the fascist coup of 1936-39. It is not the more democratic, albeit still Spanish, republican flag. The Spanish banner was invented in the 19th century, mostly to be used on ships (hence the bright colors), replacing other traditional ensigns like the Burgundy Cross (also known as St. Andrew Cross) and all the traditional emblems of the different realms and royal houses. It was an arbitrary decission by the authoritarian monarchical regime of the time but in any case, its use did not became standard until much later.

It has always been rejected in the Basque Country as a symbol of foreign opression. In an eclectic measure, the local authorities, except those controlled by Spanish nationalist parties, have for decades not shown any banner at all in their facades, exception made sometimes (again imposed by the Spanish tribunals) of the main festivities, what often sparked violent riots. The current legal measures show that Spanish nationalism is clearly in the offensive, that the "moderate" Basque Nationalist Party has no courage to face that (in fact they probably have no national project anymore at all) and that the true nationalists have been to some extent cornered by the legal and police measures decreed against them.

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