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Vexillopedia

Flag of Basque Country

Basque Country
Ratio 14:25
Adoption 1978
Design A white cross over a green saltire on a red field. [0]
Colors
#D52B1E
#FFFFFF
#009B48

History

The flag was designed in 1894 to represent the province of Biscay in a set of one flag for each of the seven Basque provinces and one for the whole country; however, since PNV activity was scarce outside of Biscay, only the Biscayne flag was publicly recognized. It was hoisted for the first time in the "Euzkeldun Batzokija", the club that preceded EAJ-PNV. The party adopted it in 1895 and, in 1933, proposed it as the flag of the whole Basque Country.

Since the Basque people had accepted the "ikurriña", at the suggestion of the socialist counselor Aznar, the Basque Government adopted it as the flag of the Basque Autonomous Region in 1936. This flag was used as the Naval jack of the Basque Auxiliary Navy, a section of the Spanish Republican Navy operating in the Bay of Biscay during the Spanish Civil War.

In 1938, after the military defeat of the Basque Government the regime of General Franco prohibited this flag —although it continued to be used in the Basque departements of France. In the following decades it became a symbol of defiance – the first actions of the clandestine group ETA involved placing flags in public places.

The Basque flag was legalized again in 1977 during the Spanish transition to democracy. Two years later, the Basque Government adopted it as the flag of the Basque autonomous community. It is also used as an unofficial flag for some sectors of Basque society in other provinces. [0]

Meaning

The red ground symbolizes the Biscayan people (the race); the green saltire might represent the Oak of Guernica, a symbol of the old laws of Biscay, or Fueros; and over them, the white cross, God's symbol of Basque Catholic devotion. Thus, red, white and green have become the national Basque colors. [0]