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Political Parties (Balearic Islands, Spain)

Last modified: 2001-09-08 by santiago dotor
Keywords: spain | balearic islands | politics | nationalist | stars: 5 (red) |
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Balears Independents Movement late 1970's

[Reported Independentist Flag c.1979 (Balearic Islands, Spain)]
by Ivan Sache

In the Flags of Aspirant Peoples 1994 chart appears "59. Balearic Islands (Balears Independents movement) - Spain." Green field with a large per bend sinister blue stripe, charged with five red five-pointed stars arranged in a pentagon.

Ivan Sache, 14 September 1999

I never before heard —much less saw— such a Balearic independentist flag. Green is very unlikely as a Balearic or -in general- Catalan colour for flags. I would guess any Balearic independentist flag would have the Catalan flag as background, with whatever cantons, bends or stripes on top.

Santiago Dotor, 17 September 1999

If it did exist, it was really unknown (perhaps an unipersonal party?). I think that [the flag] is from a poster of [early 1980's terrorist group] GRAPO showing several revolutionary flags like one for [Western] Sahara. But none of the 80 members of GRAPO were related to Sahara or Balears and the flags are only imaginary. Moreover, using a bad imagination, because it is unthinkable that the Catalan national colours do not appear in the Balearic flag because Catalan colors are the historical colours of the islands, and have been always used for eight centuries.

Jaume Ollé, 19 September 1999

[The above] image shows a very small movement's flag (I believe less that 12 members [strong]).

Jaume Ollé, 14 December 2000

My source for the Balears Independent Movement flag (no. 64 in the Flags of Aspirant Peoples 1994 chart) was Flagmaster no. 027, back page, dated 1st September 1979.

Ralph Bartlett, 14 December 2000

I have been following the discussion about the Majorca flag depicted in the Flags of Aspirant Peoples 1994 chart. Since I am the author of the article on the history of the flag of Majorca, which appeared in Flagmaster no. 27 in September 1979 and upon which the authors based their Balearic blue-green flag with 5 red stars, I would like to say a few words on the matter. At the end of that article I showed this flag as being that of the Balears Independents movement, a tiny political group, which emerged around 1977/78 and disappeared a few years later, after the Balearic Islands had become an autonomous region within Spain, the actual regional flag having been adopted on 25.2.1983.

The authors of the chart included the flag in good faith, I know them as serious vexillologists. And as they state in the chart, the flags appear as a matter of record only. In fact it is very difficult to decide on which flags from all the hundreds of flags discussed in vexillological periodicals (or FOTW) do really represent an aspirant people, or do just belong to an ephimeral political party representing only a tiny aspirant part of that people. Criteria of including or omitting flags on the various charts published all over the world are difficult to understand for readers. Criteria are also difficult to set up by authors. In democratic countries, where regional, state or autonomous flags are legally recognised, differentiation of separatist movements' flags on one hand, which often represent but a very small part of the population, from the same traditional regional flag, which represents the big majority of the population accepting their region as a part of the state or nation, is most difficult.

When with the death of General Franco in 1975 a younger, democratic generation of politicians took over step by step, regionalism also developed rapidly. The years from 1975 until 1983, when the last regions officially got their flag, were characterised by a flag struggle (a real Flaggenstreit [flag war] in some regions, for instance in Valencia): some regions, like Galicia, Catalonia, Navarre, Basque Country, Asturias or Valencia already had a widely accepted regional flag. Political parties sometimes added their symbolism to the characteristic regional flag to denote their position, a few of them towards independence. Other regions had to adopt a flag ex novo, or had even first to be recognised as a region (as Cantabria or La Rioja). A few radical left-wing parties placed red stars on the traditional flag, like in Galicia, Asturias or Catalonia (here the star was placed on a triangle next to the hoist), but these flags did not represent the region, they did only represent that particular group. Such flags are nowadays hardly seen, as a matter of fact I have never seen a red star Asturian flag, while I did see Galician red star flags and several Catalan star flags (red star, white star, yellow star). Vexillologists are biased by their curiosity and collector's pursuit, we want to know everything and we value flags not by their real life importance but by their scarcity in publications or collections, thus often forgetting our duty to look at flags within their historical and socio-cultural context.

Emil Dreyer, 11 December 2000