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Curious facts about our national symbols


• In the times of King Carlos III, the Spanish flag was white, with a Picture of the royal coat of arms in the centre. White was the colour of the Bourbon royal dynasty. In other countries where the Bourbons ruled, such as France and Italy, the national flags were also white.
• In those times, warships and trading ships used flags to show their nationality, but many countries had flags with the same colours. It was difficult to see the differences at a distance or when it wasn’t windy. When people saw a strange ship, they didn’t know its nationality until the ship was very close, and that could be dangerous during a war!
• King Carlos III decided to change his country’s flag. He organised a competition and people created 12 different designs. The king finally chose a red and yellow design because it was easy to see on ships from a distance. That is why red and yellow are the colours of Spain’s flag today.


• The Spanish national anthem was originally a military march, a grenadier (an elite military corps from the 18th century) march to be precise. In 1770, King Carlos III proclaimed it the anthem of the Spanish Crown. It has been our national anthem since then.


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