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Other information of interest

The use of the State symbols (flag, anthem and coat of arms and precedence (order of precedence among authorities and other dignitaries, both Spanish and from foreign embassies, according to their arrival in Spain).

You can consult here the regulation on the use of State symbols such as the national flag, the national coat of arms and the national anthem, and on the precedence of Spanish and foreign diplomatic representatives, authorities and dignitaries at public acts of an international nature.

National Flag of Spain

The origin of the current Spanish flag dates back to the reign of Carlos III (1759-1788), and underwent several historical transformations before the current version which was regulated in Article 4(1) of the Spanish Constitution of 1978, which stipulates that it will be “made up of three horizontal stripes – red, yellow and red – with the width of the yellow stripe being twice the size of each of the red stripes”.

By virtue of Article 3(4) of Act 39/1981, of 28 October 1981, regulating the use of the National Flag of Spain and of other flags and ensigns, “the National Flag of Spain, along with the National Shield of Spain, will be placed on the premises of the diplomatic missions and consular offices, on the residences of their senior officials and, as the case may be, on their modes of official transport”. 

National Coat of Arms of Spain


The heraldic process of the National Coat of Arms of Spain underwent various transformations until the most recent changes were introduced on the current shield, in accordance with the National Coat of Arms of Spain Act 33/1981, of 5 October 1981 and with Royal Decree 2964/1981, of 18 December 1981, which published the official model of the National Coat of Arms of Spain. 

National Anthem of Spain

The National Anthem dates back to a military march called the “Grenadiers March”, of unknown origin, which is contained in the “Book of Ordinance of Military Marches of the Spanish Infantry” of 1761. 

The National Anthem is currently regulated by Royal Decree 1560/1997, of 10 October 1997, that describes the musical beats, established in two versions - a full version and an abbreviated version - and the rules on when each should be played.

General Organisation of State Precedence

Article 2 of Royal Decree 2099/1983, of 4 August 1983, approving the General Organisation of State Precedence, establishes the following:

  1. “The Head of State Protocol shall be commissioned with applying the rules of the present General Organisation of Precedence.

  2. The Protocol Service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall coordinate with the Head of State Protocol in order to determine:

​a. The precedence of diplomatic representatives, authorities, dignitaries, corporations and colleges of institutions, whether Spanish or foreign, that attend public acts of an international nature held in Spain or abroad organised by the Spanish State.

​b.​ The precedence of the aforesaid attendance at any public event which, although not directly organised by the State, is of particular importance for Spanish foreign relations. At these acts, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall act in coordination with the organising entity”.