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Flags of the Carlist Wars (Spain)

Last modified: 2001-07-14 by santiago dotor
Keywords: historical | carlist wars | military |
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Carlist Flags

Somebody wrote:

During the First Carlist War (1834-1840), the liberals adopted the crimson/gold that has been the flag of Spain since (except for the republican interlude of 1931-1936), while the Carlists used the old Burgundian (for the house of Austria) Cross flag.
This is nonsense and most probably a flag urban legend. Carlist units in the First Carlist War used all sorts of custom made flags, including:
  • white flags with the royal arms (a la pre-1785 ensign);
  • white or red flags with monarchical and/or religious mottoes in gold lettering, for instance:
    • Viva la Religión, Viva Carlos Vº (Long Live Religion, Long Live Charles V)
    • Dios, Patria y Rey (God, Fatherland and King);
  • white or red flags with religious images (particularly of the Holy Virgin); and even
  • black flags with skull and bones.
These units certainly did not use red-yellow-red flags, but neither did the Isabelist (liberal) army until 1843. Moreover, there is little evidence of the Carlists using the Burgundy Cross at the time of the First Carlist War, whereas most Isabelist units did. Actually even after the 1843 Decree approving the red-yellow-red flag for the army, a further decree that same year established that the Burgundy Cross should always appear behind the royal arms in the centre of the flag.

Santiago Dotor, 8 November 2000

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