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History of the Canarian flag (and VIII)

The autonomy

With the arrival of the political transition, in 1975, a strong controversy broke out over the flag to be used by a would-be self-governed Canarian entity. It was evident that nobody was thinking about the retrieval of models such as the flag of the Ateneo which by now were neither widely known nor remembered. The left-wing parties supported the constitutional option of considering the Canary Islands as a ‘nationality’, while the right and the center upheld the concept of ‘region’. The independentists were reduced to several small groups with hardly any presence in the Canarian political life. The left as well as the nationalists agreed in proposing the use of the flag with the seven green stars, while the right and the center, whose alliance constituted the legislative majority, opted for the plain tri-colour flag. A certain practical spirit and a wish of consensus gradually prevailed amongst all the parties with parliamentary representation, ending in the general acceptance of the regional option and Cantero Sarmiento's flag.

The use of a flag with red stars by some left-wing groups during these years has been also reported.

Flag used by left-wing groups (70's)

As a curiosity, it can be mentioned that on 22nd deciember 1980, the PSOE (Spanish Workers Socialist Party) suggested as a half-way solution to change the colour of the stars from green to white, as a reminder of the "historical flag" (that is, that of the Ateneo). This proposal, had it succeed, would have produced a flag like this:

PSOE proposal (re-creation)

Finally, the Statute of Autonomy of the Canarian Autonomous Community, approved by Organic Law 10/82, 16 August 1982, stated in article 6: ‘The flag of the Canary Islands will be made up of three equal stripes in vertical position, whose colours are, from the hoist, white, blue and yellow’.

Lacking a legal rule developing this article and specifying the characteristics and shade of the colours of the Canarian flag, for many years the colours used, specially in flags of official institutions, were similar to these:

Flag approved by the Estatute

Nevertheless, by Decree 184/2004, 21st december (BOC 07-01-2005), modified by Order 24th november 2005 (BOC 02-12-2005), the Canarian Government approved a Handbook of corporate identity where, among other issues, it was specified the exact shade of the colours of the flag:


  Graphic arts Audiovisuals Vinile 3M Paint
  Pantone CMYK RGB Adhesive RAL Paint
Yellow Pantone 7406 20% M
100% Y
R 255
G 204
B 0
Brightness 021
Matt 021
RAL 1023
Blue Pantone 3005 100% C
35% M
R 7
G 104
B 160
Brightness 084
Matt 517
RAL 5015








Flag since 2005 (without arms)

Together with the simple tri-colour established in the Statute, a model is officially used which includes the coat-of-arms of the Community, defined as well by the forementioned Handbook.

Flag since 2005 (with arms)

Images and information on the coat-of-arms of the Autonomous Community.

On the other hand, it is quite common to see an unofficial model in public festivities, fairs and other celebrations. This consists of the same colours but in a horizontal arrangement, the only reason for this seeming to be that they are made in long pieces of cloth with longitudinal stripes that are transversally cut.

Unofficial model used in festivities

To end up, the Decree 123/1990 (BOC of 30-7-1990) established the procedure for the approval of coats-of-arms and flags in the Autonomous Community of the Canary Islands.