Last modified: 2002-11-30 by santiago dotor
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by António Martins
The history of the Iberian peninsula is one of successive reunification and fragmentation, thoughout the last 2000 years: Romans, Barbarians (Sweves, Wandals and Wisigoths), Arabs and the contemporary peoples went back and forth in this routine countless times. The most recent of these union times was in 1580-1640, under the three Felipe kings (II, III and IV in Spain; I, II, and III in Portugal). In fact, the re-independence of Portugal was an historical oddball, because it didn't follow the breakup of Spain. However, after 1640, and until the beginning of our century, the possibility of a remerging was always considered as a serious alternative to Portuguese problems, in a recurrent movement called Iberism. The earlier form of this, in the 17th century, was named "Iberian Iberism" (!) and favoured the reunion of the two kingdoms, with the (Spanish) king moving to Lisbon, capital of the putative new realm.
Yet another form of this movement, quite popular around the 1820 crisis in Portugal, was the "Republican Iberism", proposing the reoganization of the [Iberian] peninsula as a Federation of seven republics Portugal being divided into Lusitânia Ulterior and Lusitânia Citerior, this with capital in Santarém, away from the sea to avoid attacks from the English (!).
Recently (maybe up to the beginning of the 20th century), this movement used a flag quartered with the colours of Portugal and Spain: clockwise from top hoist, white, red, yellow and blue. (It's easy to be sure that this design could have not been possible before these had become the national colors in both countries...). This very pattern repeated in a stripe fashion was used as bounting and cockard by men, while adept ladies are said to have used ribbons with YBWR horizontal stripes or WBYR diagonal stripes...
Source: Grande Enciclopédia Luso-Brasileira, entry on Iberismo.
António Martins, 26 May 1999