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Rank Flags 1923-1931 and 1938-1977 (Spain)

Last modified: 2011-06-10 by eugene ipavec
Keywords: rank | military | diplomatic | chief of staff | captain general | lieutenant general | division general | brigade general | ambassador | eagle (black) | disc (red) | anchor (blue) | batons: crossed | discs: 3 (blue) | discs: 2 ( |
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Introduction

All the flags I described below are from Flaggenbuch 1939 and might have changed. Most naval rank flags did not change after General Franco's death in 1975, but I have no data about Army flags and their eventual modification.

Ivan Sache, 15 Mar 2000

Most of the military and diplomatic rank flags used during 1938-1977 (and some up to nowadays, namely the naval ones) were first approved in 1923, to replace previous rank flags adopted in 1878. After the Second Spanish Republic was proclaimed on 14th April 1931, adopting the red-yellow-purple tricolour, a Decree of May 5th 1931 approved new rank flags. The 1923-1931 flags were readopted in 1938.

Santiago Dotor, 22 Nov 2000


Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces 1945-1977

Jefe del Alto Estado Mayor de las Fuerzas Armadas

[Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces 1945-1977 (Spain)] 1:1
image by Jaume Ollé


Captain General (of the Army) 1923-1931

Capitán General (del Ejército de Tierra)

[Army Captain General 1923-1931 (Spain)] 2:3
image by Ivan Sache

Forked 2:3 rectangular flag. Vertically equally divided red-yellow-red. Two crossed blue batons in yellow stripe. Note that there was also a flag for the Captain General of the Navy which is very similar nowadays, except the former one was 2:3 instead of 1:1.

I am uncertain as to the actual use of this flag. Firstly, nobody held the rank of captain general in 1923-1931 or thereafter, except the chief of state before and after the Republic – King Alphonse XIII until 1931 and General Franco after 1936, both of whom had their own standards. However, General Franco's standard was first adopted in 1940, that is the reason why Flaggenbuch 1939 says, "Given his dignity of Generalissimo of the armed forces, the chief of state flies at sea the flag of captain general of the navy, instead of any special standard". I wonder whether Franco used similarly the flag of captain general of the army, at least during 1936-1940.

On the other hand, in Spain the top position in every military region is held by someone with the rank of lieutenant general (occasionally in small regions a division general) but is called captain general of such-and-such region during his term of office. Some people call this the dignity of captain general, as opposed to the rank of captain general. My doubt is whether somebody with such dignity would use the flag of captain general or rather that of his rank, lieutenant general. I believe the latter is the case, for instance because he displays the rank of lieutenant general on his uniform's insignia.

Santiago Dotor, 22 Nov 2000


Lieutenant General 1923-1931 and 1938-1977

Teniente General

[Lieutenant General 1923-1931 and 1938-1977 (Spain)] 2:3
image by Ivan Sache

Forked 2:3 rectangular flag. Vertically equally divided red-yellow-red. Three blue discs placed vertically in yellow stripe.

Ivan Sache, 15 Mar 2000

As Ivan Sache reported, this flag appears in Flaggenbuch 1939 as Flagge des Generalstabschefs i.e. "Flag of the Chief of the Army General Staff" (in Spanish, Jefe del Estado Mayor del Ejército). This is probably because the person holding that office was (usually always is) a lieutenant general.

Santiago Dotor, 22 Nov 2000


Division General 1923-1931 and 1938-1977

General de División

[Division General 1923-1931 and 1938-1977 (Spain)] 2:3
image by Ivan Sache

Forked 2:3 rectangular flag. Vertically equally divided red-yellow-red. Two blue discs placed vertically in yellow stripe.

Ivan Sache, 15 Mar 2000


Brigade General 1923-1931 and 1938-1977

General de Brigada

[Brigade General 1923-1931 and 1938-1977 (Spain)] 2:3
image by Ivan Sache

Forked 2:3 rectangular flag. Vertically equally divided red-yellow-red. A blue disc in the middle of the yellow stripe.

Ivan Sache, 15 Mar 2000


Ambassador 1923-1931 and 1938-1977

Embajador

[Ambassador 1923-1931 and 1938-1977 (Spain)] 2:3
image by Ivan Sache

Forked 2:3 rectangular flag. Vertically equally divided red-yellow-red, but the upper half part of the stripe at hoist is white. Two crossed blue batons in yellow stripe.

Ivan Sache, 15 Mar 2000


Minister Plenipotentiary 1923-1931 and 1938-1977

Ministro Plenipotenciario

[Minister Plenipotentiary 1923-1931 and 1938-1977 (Spain)] 2:3
image by Ivan Sache

Forked 2:3 rectangular flag. Vertically equally divided red-yellow-red, but the upper half part of the stripe at hoist is white. Three blue discs placed vertically in yellow stripe.

Ivan Sache, 15 Mar 2000


Resident Minister 1923-1931 and 1938-1977

Ministro Residente

[Resident Minister 1923-1931 and 1938-1977 (Spain)] 2:3
image by Ivan Sache

Forked 2:3 rectangular flag. Vertically equally divided red-yellow-red, but the upper half part of the stripe at hoist is white. Two blue discs placed vertically in yellow stripe.

Ivan Sache, 15 Mar 2000


Chargé d'Affaires and Consul 1923-1931 and 1938-1977

Encargado de Negocios y Cónsul

[Charge' d'Affaires and Consul 1923-1931 and 1938-1977 (Spain)] 2:3
image by Ivan Sache

Forked 2:3 rectangular flag. Vertically equally divided red-yellow-red, but the upper half part of the stripe at hoist is white. A blue disc in the middle of yellow stripe.

Ivan Sache, 15 Mar 2000