For those like me, who has had the privilege to be born in La Comunidad Valenciana (Spain), or the former Kingdom of Valencia, today, October 9th is our big day. We celebrate that, from this moment on but in 1238, the city of Valencia became a part of the Crown of Aragon. At the beginning Valencia used Aragon’s flag (yellow background color with four red stripes), but in 1365 Pedro el Ceremonioso, King of Aragon, gave to the Valencian people a vertical blue stripe with a crown. Those two last elements were given to them as a reward for their support on the war against Pedro I of Castile. Since then, to the present, our flag has been the Real Señera.
As a flag with royal rank (the only one in the world), king Pedro II of Aragon, granted a specific protocol and ceremonial for events according with its new rank. This protocol can be summarized in three points:
- The flag does not bow before nobody.
- Its exit is not through the door, but dropped vertically through the council house balcony.
- It has to be guarded by the Maestre Racional. Who will deliver it to Justicia de lo Criminal to civil commemorations and to the head of the Centenar de la Ploma to departure to battle. The Centenar de la Ploma was a military corp formed by 100 crossbowmen to escort and protect the flag when it got out of Valencia city or the Kingdom of Valencia.
Thus, during October 9th, we pay the greatest tribute to the flag. One of the events organized is a march. In which are taking part, no just regional authorities, but members of all civil society. A march where the flag leads the way, and because of that, we follow the protocol and ceremonial granted by Pedro II in the 14th century.
The flag is placed at the council house balcony. Then, is vertically dropped to the street level. Due to its royal rank, as any king or queen, it is honored with 21-gun salute by cannon. After that, the Valencian anthem is played. And then, is when the flag’s carrier starts the march through the city. I leave a video where you can see the full protocol and ceremonial.
Finally, I just want to say that the Valencian flag does not have a size determined by law such as the Spanish one. So, the custom it is 1:2 and 2:3. The first size is the bigger and the more traditional one. This size confers more solemnity to the flag. It is used for high symbolic buildings to our culture and land, such as the towers from the outer wall of the former city of Valencia. The 2:3 size is the most widely used nowadays. Despite its royal rank, because of the Spanish law, it cannot be bigger that the Spanish flag when they flap together.
If you want to read more about the theme, you can click in the link next (in Spanish): ENLACE