Valencian referred to as Southern Catalan, is a dialect of the Catalan language spoken in the Valencian Community, where it is an official language, in the El Carche comarca in Murcia, where it has no official recognition. Besides, it is spoken in the south of the Terres de l'Ebre and in the south of La Franja in Aragon, in its transitional variety; the denominations "Valencian" or "Valencian language" are used traditionally and as a glottonym exclusively in the Valencian Community, to refer not only to the dialect spoken in the region, but to refer to the totality of the Catalan language. However, outside this territory the use of this denomination is null, it is considered the Valencian Community's own language according to the region's 1982 Statute of Autonomy and the Spanish Constitution. According to philological studies, the varieties of this language spoken in the Valencian Community and El Carxe cannot be considered a dialect restricted to these borders: the several dialects of Valencian belong to the Western group of Catalan dialects.
Valencian, as a variety of the Catalan language, displays transitional features between Ibero-Romance languages and Gallo-Romance languages. Its similarity with Occitan has led many authors to group it under the Occitano-Romance languages. There is some controversy within the Valencian Community regarding its status as a glottonym or as a language on its own among certain political sectors such as blaverism and Spanish nationalism. According to a study carried out by the Generalitat Valenciana in 2014, scarcely more than a half people in the Valencian Community consider it as a separate language, different from Catalan. However, according to the same study, most of Valencians with higher studies say that it is the same language. According to the 2006 Statute of Autonomy Valencian is regulated by the Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua, by means of the Normes de Castelló. Due to not having been recognized for a long time and the considerable immigration coming from Andalusia but from other areas of Spain where Spanish is spoken, the number of speakers has decreased, the influence of Spanish has led to the adoption of a huge amount of loanwords.
Some of the most important works of Catalan literature in Valencia experienced a golden age during the Late Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Important works include Joanot Martorell's chivalric romance Tirant lo Blanch, Ausiàs March's poetry; the first book produced with movable type in the Iberian Peninsula was printed in the Valencian variety. The earliest recorded chess game with modern rules for moves of the queen and bishop was in the Valencian poem Scachs d'amor; the official status of Valencian is regulated by the Spanish Constitution and the Valencian Statute of Autonomy, together with the Law of Use and Education of Valencian. Article 6 of the Valencian Statute of Autonomy sets the legal status of Valencian, providing that: The official language of the Valencian Community is Valencian. Valencian is official within the Valencian Community, along with Spanish, the official language nationwide. Everyone shall have the right to know it and use it, receive education in Valencian. No one can be discriminated against by reason of their language.
Special protection and respect shall be given to the recuperation of Valencian. The Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua shall be the normative institution of the Valencian language; the Law of Use and Education of Valencian develops this framework, providing for implementation of a bilingual educational system, regulating the use of Valencian in the public administration and judiciary system, where citizens can use it when acting before both. Valencian is recognized under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages as "Valencian". Valencian is not spoken all over the Valencian Community. A quarter of its territory, equivalent to 10% of the population, is traditionally Castilian-speaking only, whereas Valencian is spoken to varying degrees elsewhere. Additionally, it is spoken by a reduced number of people in Carche, a rural area in the Region of Murcia adjoining the Valencian Community. Although the Valencian language was an important part of the history of this zone, nowadays only about 600 people are able to speak Valencian in the area of Carche.
In 2010 the Generalitat Valenciana published a study and Social use of Valencian, which included a survey sampling more than 6,600 people in the provinces of Castellón, Alicante. The survey collected the answers of respondents and did not include any testing or verification; the results were: Valencian was the language "always or most used": at home: 31.6% with friends: 28.0% in internal business relations: 24.7%For ability: 48.5% answered they speak Valencian "perfectly" or "quite well" 26.2% answered they write Valencian "perfectly" or "quite well" The survey shows that, although Valencian is still the common language in many areas in the Valencian Community, where more than half of the Valencian population are able to speak it, most Valencians do not speak in Valencian in their
Valencia València, on the east coast of Spain, is the capital of the autonomous community of Valencia and the third-largest city in Spain after Madrid and Barcelona, with around 800,000 inhabitants in the administrative centre. Its urban area extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of around 1.6 million people. Valencia is Spain's third largest metropolitan area, with a population ranging from 1.7 to 2.5 million depending on how the metropolitan area is defined. The Port of Valencia is the 5th busiest container port in Europe and the busiest container port on the Mediterranean Sea; the city is ranked at Beta-global city in World Cities Research Network. Valencia is integrated into an industrial area on the Costa del Azahar. Valencia was founded as a Roman colony by the consul Decimus Junius Brutus Callaicus in 138 BC, called Valentia Edetanorum. In 714 Moroccan and Arab Moors occupied the city, introducing their language and customs. Valencia was the capital of the Taifa of Valencia.
In 1238 the Christian king James I of Aragon conquered the city and divided the land among the nobles who helped him conquer it, as witnessed in the Llibre del Repartiment. He created a new law for the city, the Furs of Valencia, which were extended to the rest of the Kingdom of Valencia. In the 18th century Philip V of Spain abolished the privileges as punishment to the kingdom of Valencia for aligning with the Habsburg side in the War of the Spanish Succession. Valencia was the capital of Spain when Joseph Bonaparte moved the Court there in the summer of 1812, it served as capital between 1936 and 1937, during the Second Spanish Republic. The city is situated on the banks of the Turia, on the east coast of the Iberian Peninsula, fronting the Gulf of Valencia on the Mediterranean Sea, its historic centre is one of the largest in Spain, with 169 ha. Due to its long history, this is a city with numerous popular celebrations and traditions, such as the Fallas, which were declared as Fiestas of National Tourist Interest of Spain in 1965 and Intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO in November 2016.
From 1991 to 2015, Rita Barberá Nolla was the mayor of the city, yet in 2015, Joan Ribó from Coalició Compromís, became mayor. The original Latin name of the city was Valentia, meaning "strength", or "valour", the city being named according to the Roman practice of recognising the valour of former Roman soldiers after a war; the Roman historian Livy explains that the founding of Valentia in the 2nd century BC was due to the settling of the Roman soldiers who fought against an Iberian rebel, Viriatus. During the rule of the Muslim kingdoms in Spain, it had the nickname Medina at-Tarab according to one transliteration, or Medina at-Turab according to another, since it was located on the banks of the River Turia, it is not clear if the term Balansiyya was reserved for the entire Taifa of Valencia or designated the city. By gradual sound changes, Valentia has in Castilian and València in Valencian. In Valencian, the grave accent ⟨è⟩ /ɛ/ contrasts with the acute accent ⟨é⟩ /e/—but the word València is an exception to this rule.
It is spelled according to Catalan etymology. Valencia stands on the banks of the Turia River, located on the eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula and the western part of the Mediterranean Sea, fronting the Gulf of Valencia. At its founding by the Romans, it stood on a river island in 6.4 kilometres from the sea. The Albufera, a freshwater lagoon and estuary about 11 km south of the city, is one of the largest lakes in Spain; the City Council bought the lake from the Crown of Spain for 1,072,980 pesetas in 1911, today it forms the main portion of the Parc Natural de l'Albufera, with a surface area of 21,120 hectares. In 1976, because of its cultural and ecological value, the Generalitat Valenciana declared it a natural park. Valencia has a subtropical Mediterranean climate with short mild winters and long and dry summers, its average annual temperature is 18.4 °C. In the coldest month, the maximum temperature during the day ranges from 14 to 21 °C, the minimum temperature at night ranges from 5 to 11 °C.
In the warmest month – August, the maximum temperature during the day ranges from 28–34 °C, about 22 to 23 °C at night. Similar temperatures to those experienced in the northern part of Europe in summer last about 8 months, from April to November. March is transitional, the temperature exceeds 20 °C, with an average temperature of 19.3 °C during the day and 10.0 °C at night. December and February are the coldest months, with average temperatures around 17 °C during the day and 8 °C at night. Valencia has one of the mildest winters in Europe, owing to its southern location on the Mediterranean Sea and the Foehn phenomenon; the January average is comparable to temperatures expected for May and September in the major cities of northern Europe. Sunshine duration hours are 2,696 per year, from 15
Province of Alicante
Alicante, or Alacant, is a province of eastern Spain, in the southern part of the Valencian Community. The second and third biggest cities in the Valencian Community are located in this province. Alicante is bordered by the provinces of Murcia on the southwest, Albacete on the west, Valencia on the north, the Mediterranean Sea on the east; the province is named after the city of Alicante. According to the 2018 population data, Alicante ranks as the 4th most populous province in Spain, with 1,838,819 inhabitants. Cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants in the province are Alicante, Torrevieja, Benidorm, Alcoy and San Vicente del Raspeig; the province has the largest ratio of foreigner population among all Spanish provinces. The total of 446,368 foreigners are registered in the province, which represents 23.6 percent of the total population. Out of 141 municipalities that make up the province, foreign population is above 25% in 54 municipalities, above 50% in 19 municipalities; the latter include San Fulgencio, Benitatxell, Algorfa, Llíber, Daya Vieja.
From the 50 provinces of Spain, Alicante is the only one with three metropolitan areas—Alicante–Elche, Elda–Petrer and Benidorm—even though only one of them is ranked within the Spanish top ten metropolitan areas. It has an area of 5.816,5 km², so it has a population density of 313.8 hab/km². The province is mountainous in the north and west, whereas it is flat to the south, in the Vega Baja del Segura area. All of these peaks are a part of the Subbaetic Range; the coast extends from the cape, Cap de la Nau, in the north to reaching the Mar Menor in the south. With regard to water sources, due to the dry rain regime there are no major rivers, but ramblas, which fill in with water when torrential rains occur; the only remarkable streams are the Vinalopó, the river Segura. Other minor seasonal creeks are Girona, Algar and Ebo. There are saline wetlands and marshlands along the coast such El Fondo and the former wetlands and now salt evaporation ponds in Santa Pola and Torrevieja. All of them are key Ramsar Sites which make the Alicante province of high relevance for both migratory and resident seabirds and waterbirds.
Important coastal dunes are present in the Guardamar area which were planted with thousands of pine trees during the 19th century in order to protect the ville from the dunes advancing, which has created now an area of remarkable ecologic value. The climate is strikingly diverse for such a reduced area. Three major areas can be cited, it goes along the coastal plain from La Vila Joiosa through the southernmost border. Summers are long, hot to hot and dry, winters are cool to mild and its most prominent feature is scarce precipitation below 300mm. Per year and most to happen during spring and autumn; the reasons for this lack of precipitation is the marked rain shadow effect caused by hills to the west of the Alicante province. Most of its few rainy days happen during Spring; the predominant vegetation in this part of the province is Matorral Scrublands including thyme, esparto and the like. Proper Mediterranean climate is present in the northeastern areas around Cap de la Nau to its North but to its South, in diminishing grades until disappearing north of Benidorm.
It goes along the coastal plain from the northern border of the province through the Benidorm area. The north slopes of the mountains in the Marina Alta have a remarkably wetter microclimate with an average of up to 900mm of precipitation due to orographic lift, with most of the precipitation occurring in Autumn and Spring; the precipitation in this area is an average four times the one of the semiarid South, with this big precipitation gap occurring in a matter of just 100 km. The vegetation of this part is an enriched version of the Matorral shrubland and Mediterranean pine woods; the Alicante province has a dry Mediterranean to Continental Mediterranean climate. These are the innermost part of some closer to the sea but at a higher elevation. Here winters are cool to cold and a few days of snow are not unusual; the innermost part of this domain is more quite dry while the mountainous part reach higher precipitation figures which allow Kermes Oak woods to thrive, such as the one in La Carrasqueta or in the Mariola range, both near Alcoy.
The Iberians were the oldest documented people living in. Belonging to these there are several archaeologi
The Reconquista is a name used in English to describe the period in the history of the Iberian Peninsula of about 780 years between the Umayyad conquest of Hispania in 711 and the fall of the Nasrid kingdom of Granada to the expanding Christian kingdoms in 1492. The completed conquest of Granada was the context of the Spanish voyages of discovery and conquest, the Americas—the "New World"—ushered in the era of the Spanish and Portuguese colonial empires. Traditional historiography has marked the beginning of the Reconquista with the Battle of Covadonga, the first known victory in Iberia by Christian military forces since the 711 military invasion of Iberia by combined Arab-Berber forces. In that small battle, a group led by the nobleman Pelagius defeated a Muslim patrol in the mountains of northern Iberia and established the independent Christian Kingdom of Asturias. In the late 10th century, the Umayyad vizier Almanzor waged military campaigns for 30 years to subjugate the northern Christian kingdoms.
His armies composed of Slavic and African Mamluks, ravaged the north sacking the great shrine of Santiago de Compostela. When the government of Córdoba disintegrated in the early 11th century, a series of petty successor states known as taifas emerged; the northern kingdoms struck deep into Al-Andalus. After a Muslim resurgence in the 12th century the great Moorish strongholds in the south fell to Christian forces in the 13th century—Córdoba in 1236 and Seville in 1248—leaving only the Muslim enclave of Granada as a tributary state in the south. After 1491, the entire peninsula was controlled by Christian rulers; the conquest was followed by the Alhambra Decree which expelled Jews who would not convert to Christianity from Castile and Aragon, a series of edicts which forced the conversions of the Muslims in Spain, although a significant part of them was expelled from the Iberian Peninsula. The concept of Reconquista, consolidated in Spanish historiography in the second half of the 19th century, was associated with the development of a Spanish national identity, emphasizing nationalistic and romantic, colonialist, aspects.
Since the 19th century traditional historiography has stressed the existence of the Reconquista, a continuous phenomenon by which the Christian Iberian kingdoms opposed and conquered the Muslim kingdoms, understood as a common enemy who had militarily seized territory from native Iberian Christians. The concept of a Christian reconquest of the peninsula first emerged, in tenuous form, at the end of the 9th century. A landmark was set by the Christian Chronica Prophetica, a document stressing the Christian and Muslim cultural and religious divide in Iberia and the necessity to drive the Muslims out. Both Christian and Muslim rulers fought amongst themselves. Alliances between Muslims and Christians were not uncommon. Blurring distinctions further were the mercenaries from both sides who fought for whoever paid the most; the period is seen today to have had long episodes of relative religious tolerance. The Crusades, which started late in the 11th century, bred the religious ideology of a Christian reconquest, confronted at that time with a staunch Muslim Jihad ideology in Al-Andalus by the Almoravids, to an greater degree by the Almohads.
In fact, previous documents from the 10th and 11th centuries are mute on any idea of "reconquest". Propaganda accounts of Muslim-Christian hostility came into being to support that idea, most notably the Chanson de Roland, a fictitious 11th-century French version of the Battle of Roncevaux Pass dealing with the Iberian Saracens, taught as historical fact in the French educational system since 1880; the modern idea of Reconquista is inextricably linked to the foundational myths of Spanish nationalism in the 19th century, consolidated by the mid-20th century during Franco's National-Catholic dictatorship, based on a strong underlying Castilian ideological element. The idea of a "liberation war" of reconquest against the Muslims, depicted as foreigners, suited well the anti-Republican rebels during the Spanish Civil War who agitated for the banner of a Spanish fatherland threatened by regional nationalisms and communism, their rebellious pursuit was thus a crusade for the restoration of the Church's unity, where Franco stood for both Pelagius of Asturias and El Cid.
The Reconquista has become a rallying call for right and far-right parties in Spain to expel from office incumbent progressive or peripheral nationalist options, as well as their values, in different political contexts as of 2018. Some contemporary authors consider it proved that the process of Christian state-building in Iberia was indeed defined by the reclamation of lands, lost to the Moors in generations past. In this way, state-building might be characterised—at least in ideological, if not practical, terms—as a process by which Iberian states were being'rebuilt'.. In turn, other recent historians dispute the whole concept of Reconquista as a concept created a posteriori in the service of political goals. A few historians point out that Spain and Portugal did not exist as nations, therefore the heirs of the Christian Visigothic Kingdom were not technically reconquering them, as the name suggests. One of the first Spanish intellectuals to question the idea of a "reconquest" that lasted for eight centuries was José Ortega y Gasset, writing in the first half of the 20th century.
However, the term is still in use
Catalan nationalism is the ideology asserting that the Catalans are a nation. Intellectually, Catalan nationalism can be said to have commenced as a political philosophy in the unsuccessful attempts to establish a federal state in Spain in the context of the First Republic. Valentí Almirall i Llozer and other intellectuals that participated in this process set up a new political ideology in the 19th century, to restore self-government, as well as to obtain recognition for the Catalan language; these demands were summarized in the so-called Bases de Manresa in 1892. It met little support at first, but after the Spanish–American War in which the United States invaded and annexed the last of the Spanish colonies, these early stages of Catalanism grew in support because of the weakened Spanish international position after the war and the loss of the two main destinations for Catalan exports. Being a broad movement, it can be found in several manifestations in the current political scene. Most of the main Catalan political parties—Catalan European Democratic Party, Republican Left of Catalonia, Socialists' Party of Catalonia, En Comú Podem and Popular Unity Candidature —adhere to Catalanism to varying degrees.
The scope of their national objectives diverges. While some restrict them to Catalonia-proper alone, others seek the acknowledgment of the political personality of the so-called Catalan Countries, the Catalan-speaking territories as a whole; such claims, which can be seen as a form of Pan-nationalism, can be read in official documents of CiU, ERC and Popular Unity Candidates. Besides Catalonia, the main Catalan-speaking regions have their own nationalist parties and coalitions which support, to varying degrees, the demands for the building of a national identity for the Catalan Countries: Valencian Nationalist Bloc in the Valencian Community, Bloc Nacional i d'Esquerres, PSM and Majorcan Union in the Balearic Islands. Other nationalist parties have existed with additional affiliations such as PSC - Reagrupament whose leader Josep Pallach i Carolà died in 1977; the two main Catalan nationalist parties have shown their commitment to the idea of the Catalan Countries in different ways and with different intensities.
For CiU, this issue is not among the main items in their agenda. The CiU has enjoyed a long term collaboration with the Valencian party BNV and with the Majorcan parties UM and the Socialist Party of Majorca. In contrast, Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya has taken more substantial steps in that direction by expanding the party to Roussillon, Balearic Islands and—as Republican Left of the Valencian Country —the Valencian Community. During the first centuries of the Reconquista, the Franks drove the Muslims south of the Pyrenees. To prevent future incursions, Charlemagne created the Marca Hispanica in 790 CE, which consisted of a series of petty kingdoms serving as buffer states between the Frankish kingdom and Al-Andalus. Between 878 and 988 CE, the area became a hotbed of Frankish-Muslim conflict. However, as the Frankish monarchy and the Caliphate of Córdoba both weakened during the 11th century, the resulting impasse allowed for a process of consolidation throughout the region's many earldoms, resulting in their combination into the County of Barcelona, which became the embryo of today's Catalonia.
By 1070, Ramon Berenguer I, Count of Barcelona, had subordinated other Catalan Counts and intransigent nobles as vassals. His action sowed the seeds of Catalan identity. According to several scholars, the term "Catalan" and "Catalonia" emerged near the end of the 11th century and appeared in the Usatges of 1150. Two factors fostered this identity: stable institutions and cultural prosperity. While the temporary lack of foreign invasions contributed to Catalonia's stability, it was not a major cause. Rather, it provided a zone for sociopolitical development. For example, after the County of Barcelona signed an agreement with the Kingdom of Aragon, to create the Crown of Aragon in 1137 through a dynastic union, the system was designed to mutually check both the king's and the nobility's powers, while the small but growing numbers of free citizens and bourgeoisie would tactically take sides with the king in order to diminish feudal institutions. By 1150, the king approved a series of pacts, called the Usatges, which "explicitly acknowledged legal equality between burghers … and nobility".
In addition, the Aragonese gentry established the Corts, a representative body of nobles and abbots that counterbalanced the King's authority. By the end of the 13th century, "the monarch needed the consent of the Corts to approve laws or collect revenue". Soon after, the Corts elected a standing body called the Diputació del General or the Generalitat, which included the rising upper bourgeoisie; the first Catalan constitutions were promulgated by the Corts of Barcelona in 1283, following the Roman tradition of the Codex. In the 13th century, King James I of Aragon conquered the Balearic Islands. Subsequent conquests expanded into the Mediterranean, reaching Sardinia, Sicily and Greece, so by 1350 the Crown of Aragon "presided over one of the most extensive and powerful mercantile empires of the Mediterranean during this period". Catalonia's economic success formed a powerful merchant class, which wielded the Corts as its political weapon, it produced a smaller middle class, or menestralia, "composed of artisans and workshop owners".
Over the 13th and 14th centuries, these merchants accrued so much wealth and political sway that they were able to place a significant check on the power of the Aragonese
Spanish transition to democracy
The Spanish transition to democracy, known in Spain as the Transition, or the Spanish transition is a period of modern Spanish history, that started on 20 November 1975, the date of death of Francisco Franco, who had established a military dictatorship after the victory of the Nationalists in the Spanish Civil War. However, historians disagree on the exact date the transition was completed: some say it ended after the 1977 general election. Others suggest. At its latest, the Transition is said to have ended with the first peaceful transfer of executive power, after the victory of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party in the 1982 general election. Francisco Franco came to power in 1939, following the Spanish Civil War, ruled as a dictator until his death in 1975. In 1969, he designated Prince Juan Carlos, grandson of Spain's most recent king, Alfonso XIII, as his official successor. For the next six years, Prince Juan Carlos remained in the background during public appearances and seemed ready to follow in Franco's footsteps.
Once in power as King of Spain, however, he facilitated the development of a constitutional monarchy as his father, Don Juan de Borbón, had advocated since 1946. The transition was an ambitious plan that counted on ample support both outside of Spain. Western governments, headed by the United States, now favoured a Spanish constitutional monarchy, as did many Spanish and international liberal capitalists; the transition proved challenging, as the spectre of the Civil War still haunted Spain. Francoists on the far right enjoyed considerable support within the Spanish Army, people of the left distrusted a king who owed his position to Franco; the realisation of the democratic project required that the leftist opposition restrain its own most radical elements from provocation, that the army refrain from intervening in the political process on behalf of Francoist elements within the existing government. King Juan Carlos I began his reign as head of state without leaving the confines of Franco's legal system.
As such, he swore fidelity to the Principles of the Movimiento Nacional, the political system of the Franco era. Only in his speech before the Cortes did he indicate his support for a transformation of the Spanish political system; the King did not appoint a new prime minister, leaving in place the incumbent head of government under Franco, Carlos Arias Navarro. Arias Navarro had not planned a reform of the Francoist regime, he believed political changes should be limited: he would give the parliament, the Cortes Españolas, the task of "updating our laws and institutions the way Franco would have wanted."The reform programme adopted by the government was the one proposed by Manuel Fraga, rejecting Antonio Garrigues' plan to elect a constituent assembly. Fraga's programme aimed to achieve a "liberal democracy", "comparable to rest of Western European countries" through a "gradual and controlled process", through a series of reforms of the pseudo-constitutional Fundamental Laws of the Realm; this is why his proposal was dubbed as a "reform in the continuity", his support came from those who defended a Francoist sociological model.
In order for reform to succeed, it had to earn the support of the hardcore Francoist faction known as the Búnker, which had a major presence in the Cortes and the National Council of the Movement, the two institutions that would have to approve the reforms of the Fundamental Laws. It had to garner support within the Armed Forces and in the Spanish Labour Organisation. Besides, it needed to please the democratic opposition to Francoism; the approach towards the dissenters was that they would not be part of the reform process, but would be allowed to participate in politics more with the exception of the Communist Party. This conservative reform was inspired by the historical period of the semi-democratic Bourbonic Restoration, it was criticised for not taking into account the social and political circumstances of the time; the project coalesced into a proposal to reform three of the Fundamental Laws, but the exact changes would be determined by a mixed commission of the Government and the National Council of the Movement, as proposed by Torcuato Fernández-Miranda and Adolfo Suárez.
The creation of the commission meant that Fraga and the reformists lost control of much of the legislative direction of the country. So, the new Law of Assembly was passed by the Francoist Cortes on 25 May 1976, allowing public demonstration with government authorization. On the same day the Law of Political Associations was approved, supported by Suárez, who affirmed in parliamentary session that "if Spain is plural, the Cortes cannot afford to deny it". Suárez's intervention in favor of this reform shocked many, including J
The Senyera is a vexillological symbol based on the coat of arms of the Crown of Aragon, which consists of four red stripes on a yellow field. This coat of arms called bars of Aragon, or "the four bars" represented the King of the Crown of Aragon; the senyera pattern is nowadays in the flag of four Spanish autonomous communities, is the flag of the Catalan-speaking city of Alghero in Sardinia. It is used on the coat of arms of Spain, the coat of arms of Pyrénées-Orientales and of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, the flag of Roussillon, Capcir and Provence in France, one quarter of the coat of arms of Andorra, on the local flags of many municipalities belonging to these territories; the Senyera is used more informally to represent the Catalan language. It is a synonym for Royal Flag, although the word refers to the Catalan and Aragonese flags. In Aragonese, it is referred to as O Sinyal d'Aragón, i.e. "The Sign of Aragón". The Senyera is one of the oldest flags in Europe to be used in present day, but not in continuous use since its creation.
There are several theories advocating either a purely Catalan or a purely Aragonese origin for the symbol. The Gran Enciclopèdia Catalana claims that the first appearance of the flag is in the arms of the tomb of Ramon Berenguer II, Count of Barcelona, died in 1082 as well as in the seals of Ramon Berenguer IV, Count of Barcelona of Barcelona and III of Provence in Provençal and in Catalan documents; the Gran Enciclopedia Aragonesa states that its first material undisputed evidence dates back to a royal seal of Alfonso II of Aragon, that all evidence about a "Catalan" origin is debatable since nothing can be accepted other than the concept of "barcelonès", understanding that as allusive to the House of Barcelona, nothing referring to the ancient geographical area known as Cathalania, Catalonie where the County of Barcelona was found. Besides, amongst the ancient manuscripts preserved today in Poblet Monastery is found a carte plegada on son tots los Reys d'Arago e Comtes de Barchinona figurats, a genealogical roll of the Kings of Aragon and Counts of Barcelona commissioned between 1396 and 1400 by King Martin I of Aragon.
In the document, the four red stripes on a golden background appears only in the royal images painted of Wilfred the Hairy Count of Barcelona, Ramon Berenguer IV, Count of Barcelona, King Martin I of Aragon and King Martin I of Sicily. So it may suggest the Four Red Bars on Golden Background emblem was believed to belong to the House of Barcelona and the Counts of Barcelona in times of the initial dynasty who ruled the Crown of Aragon. Furthermore, the Pennon of the Conquest of Valencia is documented as the world's oldest extant flag, dating from 1238 though the yellow part was white, but the red stripes design was the same; the Government of Catalonia states about its official symbols that it may derive from 11th century or 12th century pre-heraldic symbols and the County of Barcelona's coat of arms, in which the yellow and red bars were vertical, while horizontal in the flag. The dynastic coat of arms became the one for the lands ruled by the counts, it is thus present in the flags and shields of the territories that once were part of the Crown of Aragon and in the arms of Andorra, Provence-Côte d'Azur and Sicily among others.
Another version is that the Kingdom of Aragon used and adopted the colours of the Papal States in their own coat of arms as a public and notorious submission to the Pope, something which the County of Barcelona would have followed shortly after according to this version. The colours for the city of Rome, which in those times was controlled by the Pope, were the same. According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, the flag of the Holy See's Navy from the 12th century on consisted of two vertical red and yellow bands, sometimes bearing the tiara and the keys. According to the Vatican official website, the yellow and red of the flag of the Holy See were two colours traditional of the Roman Senate and People; this ancient flag can still be seen on the Capitoline Hill near the Roman Forum. The Papal States changed its colours in 1808 to the present yellow and white, while the City of Rome sticks to the old colours to this day. We can reject this theory based on the works of Geronimo de Blancas, chronicler of the Kingdom of Aragon, 1585.
This author reports that Pope Innocent III after crowning the King Pedro II accepted that Aragon was a tributary kingdom of the Apostolic See. To compensate for this gesture the Pope appointed King Peter II Gonfalonier of the Church and that the Church's banner had the colours of the crown of Aragon; the Almogavars of the Catalan Company used a royal pennon with the arms of the Kings of Aragon when campaigning in the Byzantine Empire. It was used as ensign of the Aragonese Navy from 1263 to 1516; the plain version of this was used as official flag of the Autonomous Community of Catalonia during the Second Spanish Republic and since the Spanish transition to democracy. In its plain version, it is used in the French département of Pyrénées-Orientales, part of the former Crown of Aragon, it is used as the flag of Provence, a distinct region with historic ties to the Counts of Barcelona and the Crown of Aragon. The blazon of this standard version is Or, four bars Gules; the senyera