This site is an outcome of the Comenius 2008-2010 multilateral project "European Journey Through Legends".

"Becoming more European does not mean forgetting our national cultural heritage, but sharing it with other European nation".

The Legend of Catalan Flag

The Catalan flag has a name and a history. It is one of the so called heraldic flags that come out of the creation of a cloth from the arms of the Counts of Barcelona. Though it is possible that the flag, or the pennant, is in fact before the time of the arms themselves. There is no historical reference until documents of the XIII century, but we know it is one of the most ancient ones of Europe. Perhaps one of the oldest pennants in Europe this is from 1306.

At first the bars of the arm were represented vertically and then horizontally. Finally it was the horizontal form that became its final form and the official flag of the Catalan nation. A flag with five yellow bars and four red ones, all of the same size. It was made official in the Estatut d'autonomia de Catalunya of 1979.

The popular legend about the origin of the flag says that it was Guifré el Pelós in the IX century who created it. He started the glorious house of Barcelona that then reigned for more than 500 years over Catalunya.

In one particular battle, a victory over the Normandos, his prize at the end of the battle was a shield, with a gold background, from the king Charles el Calb. The legend says that the king Charles, with his own hands, painted the shield with his fingers still covered in blood from the Count of Barcelona's wounds, with the four red bars it has now.

Modern historical investigations have shown that this is not true, but most people prefer the legend.

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