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Basque Nationalist Movements (Spain)

Last modified: 2015-08-29 by ivan sache
Keywords: spain | politics | herri batasuna | ikurriña | euskal herritarrok | euskadi ta askatasuna | eta | map | arrows: 2 (red) | text: basque | arrano beltza |
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Herri Batasuna 1978-1998, Euskal Herritarrok 1998-2001, Batasuna 2001-2003

[Batasuna (Spain)]
image by Tomislav Todorović and Mladen Mijatov, 10 Feb Apr 2006

When Herri Batasuna shortened its name into Batasuna ("Unity" in Basque), it adopted a new flag and two logos, the design of the flag being the combination of both of those logos. The logo which, according to numerous photos available on the Web, was much more frequently used (see [1]), is a narrow, black rectangle, charged with the party name in white and with a red square which occupies its right-hand end (see left image below), sometimes with an additional square with the same pattern as the Basque national flag, fimbriated white, in the centre of the red square (see [2]). The other logo, much less used (and rarely seen on the Web [3]), is a red rectangle with a black stripe, charged with the party name in white, along the bottom edge (see right image below). The party name is spelled on both logos with all letters lowercase, including the initial one. Both logos could have been found at the Batasuna website (now shuttered).

Logo 1
Logo 2
[Batasuna (Spain)]
[Batasuna (Spain)]
images by Tomislav Todorović and Mladen Mijatov, 10 Feb 2006

The party flag (see attached image es}batas.gif) has the red field, with a black stripe, charged with the party name in white (spelled in the same way as on the both logos), which occupies most of the bottom edge, except a squarish area in the bottom right-hand corner. The flag is mostly used with the sinister hoist, when the red bottom corner is at the hoist side (see [4], [5], [6], [7] and [8]), but sometimes it is used with the dexter hoist, when that corner is at the fly side (see [9]) – in brief, it is always at the observer's right-hand side.

The colour combination – red, black and white – is not entirely new to the Batasuna, as it had been used by Euskadiko Sozialistak Elkartze Indarra (ESEI), one of the organizations which merged into the Herri Batasuna in 1978. The scan of a sticker with the logo of ESEI can be seen at the Politica 21 site (Image URL).


  1. logo of Batasuna;
  2. logo of Batasuna; (Image URL)
  3. alternative logo of Batasuna (Image URL)
  4. Image of the flag of Batasuna with sinister hoist; (Image URL)
  5. Image of the flag of Batasuna with sinister hoist; (Image URL)
  6. Image of the flag of Batasuna with sinister hoist; (Image URL)
  7. Image of the flag of Batasuna with sinister hoist (Image URL)
  8. Image of the flag of Batasuna with sinister hoist (Image URL)
  9. Image of the flag of Batasuna with dexter hoist

The typeface used seems to vary a bit, but looks like something halfway between Arial/Helvetica and Tahoma, so it was reconstructed as such.

Tomislav Todorović, 10 Feb 2006

Herri Batasuna

[Herri Batasuna (Spain)]
image by Jaume Ollé

Herri Batasuna coalition uses a flag based on that of Euskadi, but with nine colours. It is the principal political movement of the MLNV (Basque National Liberation Movement), which includes also social organizations, trade unions, youth, women, and even the terrorist ETA.

Jaume Ollé, 19 Feb 1997

Last night CBC ran a special documentary on the Basque activities. There was one interview done in which there was an interesting variant of the ikurriña was seen – both crosses were white, making eight triangles, each of which was coloured differently, clockwise from upper hoist: orange, yellow, light green, dark green, blue, purple, marroon, red.

Rob Raeside, 07 Apr 1998

The flag of Herri Batasuna was posted some time ago, but currently Herri Batasuna is merged with other nationalist Basque groups, and created the coalition Euskal Herritarrok that uses a white flag with red stripe at bottom. In the white, the letters EH in black and, in the red, the party name in white.

Jaume Ollé, 10 Oct 1998

Basque party Herri Batasuna was transformed into Euskal Herritarrok and after that it was called just Batasuna. Recently, the Spanish Supreme Court illegalized Batasuna. I wonder if the now clandestine Batasuna or its supporters still use the HB flag depicted above. I guess the most used by all Basques is the ikurriña, even supporters of Batasuna or formerly HB/EH.

One of the first police actions was to remove flags from the Batasuna headoffice in Gasteiz-Vitoria, Basque Country. However, the police zeal was beyond Batasuna/HB now illegal flags, they removed also the Ikurriña – the Basque Country national flag which is legal at least since the second half of the 1970's.

Francisco Santos, 09/10 May 2003

Herri Batasuna Flag Variants

The flag/logo of Herri Batasuna is found on the Web in many variants which all replace blue, purple and brown triangles with light blue, dark blue and purple/lilac/magenta ones, respectively. The shades of these colours vary a lot from one image to another and so do the shades of other colours sometimes. This seems to be the incorrect design, but still there is evidence that these variants seem to have been sometimes used by Herri Batasuna and its supporters.

The reason for their appearing must be the idea that the colours should be those of the spectrum, plus white, which contains them all within itself, and therefore should make a visual representation of the party name, which means "People's Unity" (the "correct" colours might actually represent the party name in almost the same way). The versions which I have found on the Web so far are described below (given in the order of their finding).

Variant 1
[Herri Batasuna Flag Variant]
image by Tomislav Todorović and Mladen Mijatov, 02 Dec 2005
An unofficial presentation of Herri Batasuna was once included in the Euskal Herria Journal site, which was available here (The site had to be removed by the end of 1999, as its hosting server was blocked by enormous number of e-mail messages which were protesting against the journal's alleged support to the terrorist actions of ETA. This action caused many discussions about the freedom of opinion on the Web. The journal was publishing the opinions of supporters of ETA, but also those of its opponents, many of whom actually condemned the terrorism.) The flag/logo which was included in this presentation replaced the blue, purple and brown triangles with light blue, dark blue and lilac triangles, respectively.
Variant 2
[Herri Batasuna Flag Variant]
image by Tomislav Todorović and Mladen Mijatov, 02 Dec 2005
Another variant can be found at the site of the Galician Nationalist Block (image URL) and at the Political Resources on the Net site (image URL). Here, the dark blue is in the same shade as blue on the correct flag, while light blue and purple are replaced with X11 colours cyan/aqua and magenta/fuchsia, respectively. Also, the orange colour is darker than on the correct flag.
Variant 3
[Herri Batasuna Flag Variant]
image by Tomislav Todorović and Mladen Mijatov, 02 Dec 2005
A variant of the flag/logo with all colours – except orange – in much darker shades than found elsewhere, can be seen at the site of National Forum of Alsace-Lorraine (image URL) and could have also been seen at (link broken!)

Here, light green and light blue look more like medium green and medium blue, respectively, and purple looks darker than the FIAV colour P.
Variant 4
[Herri Batasuna Flag Variant]
image by Tomislav Todorović and Mladen Mijatov, 02 Dec 2005
At the site of the Parliament of the Basque Country, a variant of the logo of Herri Batasuna is shown beside the data about its parliamentary group, on the pages about the composition of the Parliament during the first five terms of legislature (the pages cannot be reached directly, so only the image URL will be given here.

This image proves that Herri Batasuna must have used this combination of colours, as the official character of the site minimizes the possibility of displaying incorrect informations. This variant of the flag has purple colour a bit lighter than the FIAV colour P, and other colours are: R+, O-, Y, V, V++, B- and B++.
Variant 5
[Herri Batasuna Flag Variant]
image by Tomislav Todorović and Mladen Mijatov, 02 Dec 2005
A photo which also proves that Herri Batasuna did use some of these variants of its flag can be found here. It shows a press conference with two speakers, the one sitting on the left side resembling Arnaldo Otegi, recently arrested leader of Batasuna (might be him, but the image is too small to let it be taken as certain). This variant of the flag replaces purple with magenta, dark green and light blue look more like medium green and medium blue, respectively, orange is darker than in most of other variants and light green is lighter than elsewhere (almost yellow-green).
Variant 6

Another variant can be found at site of online magazine "Socialist" (image URL). No image was made after it, as it employs dithering on the dark green field in a way which seems to make the reconstruction of original colour impossible.

Variant 7

Finally, the scan of a poster or flyer used by Herri Batasuna can be found here (image URL). Here, the scanning process seems to have replaced the original colours with pixels in a multitude of similar colours, grouped in such an uneven way that the reconstruction of most of the original colours seems to be impossible. Regardless of this, the image is another evidence that Herri Batasuna had sometimes used the flags with this colour combination.

Tomislav Todorović, 02 Dec 2005


[Aralar Party (Spain)]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 20 Nov 2009

Aralar is a Basque socialist political party based in Navarre. Founded as a splinter of Herri Batasuna in 2000, it is separatist but opposed to ETA violence.

Its flag can be seen in photos at red with the party's emblem in white in the upper fly. The emblem is a stylized red flag with a white lowercase "a"; on the flag the colors are inverted and the party name is placed below the logo in white lowercase.

Eugene Ipavec, 20 Nov 2009

The party name comes from the Aralar mountain range, standing between Navarre and the Basque Country proper: see also the EN and EU Wikipedia articles. (In 1991 I hoisted a flag at the top of Txindoki peak in this range.)

António Martins-Tuválkin, 26 Nov 2009

Euskadi Ta Askatasuna / ETA

Basque Homeland and Freedom

ETA Banner / Flagoid / Symbol
ETA Flag (?)
[Euskadi Ta Askatasuna / ETA (Spain)]
image by Jaume Ollé and António Martins-Tuválkin, 04 Sep 2005
[Euskadi Ta Askatasuna / ETA (Spain)]
image by Jaume Ollé and António Martins-Tuválkin, 04 Sep 2005

There is no such thing as an ETA flag. ETA being a terrorist group outlawed in both France and Spain, its members have no occasion to display flags or – as they would perhaps wish – military colours. When press releases carried out by terrorists have been recorded on video to be handed out to the press – very occasionally, never more than once a year – they have sometimes used as background a dark sheet with the ETA emblem (a snake and an axe) and sometimes the letters ETA beneath it. But that does not make it a flag.

Pro-terrorist demonstrations – where everybody carrying a flag chooses the Basque flag – usually reach their climax with a similar sheet being briefly displayed, held from its upper corners by two individuals wearing hoods. That does not make it a flag either.

It is not intended to be a flag, it is not used as a flag and it is not displayed as a flag. (...) There is not a single instance of it being used – other than as a tablecloth carried by hand – never displayed from a mast, flying from a halyard or hung from a crossbar as a proper flag or banner. (...) All reports I have seen of ETA terrorists being buried show their coffins covered with the Basque flag.

Santiago Dotor, 27 and 29 Dec 2000

The Público newspaper of 29 December 2004 had an article about an economic study on the impact of ETA terrorism on the Spanish and Basque economy. There's nothing vex in it, except the photo that came along, vex to the extreme: an archive photo of a press-conference by two ETA members announcing an unilateral cease-fire in February 2004, which includes 5 or 6 flags, no less.

Behind the two men there's a banner, flag or curtain (not sure which) with the ETA symbol, a snake wrapped around an axe on a camouflage-patterned background.

Also behind them, but hanging from indoor poles, there's three flags:

  • the Ikurriña
  • a flag I can't identify with a dark (black?) charge on light, shiny (yellow?) background [Ed.: the flag of Arrano Beltza]
  • a variation of the banner of arms of Navarre, much closer to what we show for Low Navarre than to what we show for Spanish Navarre.

Additionally, there is a table or desk in front of the two men with two flags on it:

  • to the side, one of the flags used by Catalan nationalists.
  • over all, dominating the picture, a plain background flag with the inscription "EUSKAL HERRIA" over a very complex coat of arms that doesn't fit any of the Basque COAs we show [the shield of Euskalerria (the Basque Country)].

So, what's all this? We seem to have some new stuff here, don't we?

Jorge Candeias, 23 Aug 2005

You can see more information here and here.

Aingeru Astui Zarraga, 02 Aug 2005

The motto "BIETAN JARRAI" means something like "Do uphold both!," refering to the axe, which stands for strength, and to the snake, which stands for shrewdness. The pattern is made of three basic colors (white, light blue and dark blue), and the gradients between them. This website includes a reference to «la bandera de la serpiente (la etarra)», ("ETA's snake flag")...

António Martins-Tuválkin, 24 Aug 2005

Going by from the photo I sent, there should be nothing white in the background, because there's a very distinct difference between the lighter background areas and the charges which indeed are white (and in the photo much lighter than anything in the background). Also: in the photo, this is not a stand-alone banner, but part of a larger cloth, probably also white. There's the possibility that this is simply the symbol of ETA, both the "camouflaged" background and its charges, and that the banner is a larger banner with this symbol as charge.

Jorge Candeias, 24 Aug 2005

I confirm that it is what you have described.

Aingeru Astui Zarraga, 26 Aug 2005

Please note that neither cloth has ever been used as a flag, either on public display (eg. at demonstrations) or in clandestine use (eg. on terrorist propaganda films showing training, "press conferences" etc.). They are not flags.

Santiago Dotor, 05 Sep 2005

Euskal Presoak Euskal Herrira

Basque Prisoners to the Basque Country

['Euskal Presoak Euskal Herrira' (Spain)]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 05 Mar 2009

[During a recent vacation, I noticed that] in San Sebastián was commonly seen a mainly white flag with a black map of the Basque region that was flown in support of an agitation for the transfer of ETA [a terrorist organization] prisoners from jails throughout Spain and France to prisons in the Basque country. This must have been mass produced as all of these flags seemed to be identical in size and shape. It should be noted that the map is not that of the autonomous Basque region, Euzkadi, but also includes Navarre and the French Basque country.

Vincent Morley, 09 Oct 1999

The writing EUSKAL PRESOAK EUSKAL HERRIRA means "[the] Basque prisoners [to the] Basque Country." This flag has letters and a map, both unreversable elements; what did its reverse look like, Vincent?

António Martins, 13 Oct 1999

The same. All the flags that I saw were identical in size and design and must have been produced in large numbers. I would guess that the writing was printed. That is, the reverse had exactly the same design, mirrored for correct reading

Vincent Morley, 17 and 19 Oct 1999

In this photo of the flag of Askapena, a variant is visible: different (curving) arrows, heavier text, but most importantly a different, larger map – I guess encompassing the French Basque territories too?

Eugene Ipavec, 07 Apr 2009

The flag that always I have seen is the second one. I never saw the first one. And, really, in the map are included the Basque territories under Spanish sovereignty (Basque Autonomous Community and Navarre) and French sovereignty (Labourd, Soule and Basse Navarre).

Aingeru Astui Zarraga, 08 Apr 2009

Arrano Beltza

Black Eagle

[Arrano Beltza (Black Eagle) Flag (Basque Country, Spain)]
image from this site, 30 May 2003

I have saw this flag in some public demonstration of Spanish nationalist and other extreme right groups in Basque Country. I have seen it as sticker also. The name of the flag is "ARRANO BELTZA" or "black eagle" in Basque. According to the official website of "Falange Vasca" (Basque Phalanx) this flag is the symbol of the Spanish Euskalherria – Greater Basque Country – including Navarre.

The flag is composed by a yellow field with a big black eagle in the centre. "Falange Vasca" (Basque Phalanx) is part of the national party FE-LA FALANGE, where FE stands for "Falange Española" (Spanish Phalanx).

The main goal of this kind of extreme right groups in the Basque Country is the defence of the Spanish national unity against independentism and other separatist tendencies promoted by Basque nationalists. At present time there is a proposal (in preparation) of the Basque Autonomous Government claiming for a "free state status" like Puerto Rico in the USA.

Santiago Tazón, 04 Nov 2003

I've found on the web information about an "alternative" Basque flag, yellow with an eagle. It is supposed to be a "rightist" flag used by those who perceive the ikurriña as a "leftish" one.

Paolo Montanelli, 19 Nov 2004

The flag to which you refer is called Flag of the "arrano beltza" (black eagle) and is used by Basque left-radical groups together with the ikurriña. The left-radicals consider the flag of "arrano beltza" the former flag of the king Sancho the Strong of Navarre, in whose kingdom was unified the whole Euskalerria or the Basque countries. There is more information and variants in my page.

Aingeru Astui Zarraga, 19 Nov 2004



[Askapena (Spain)]
image by Eugene Ipavec, 05 Mar 2009

Photo of the flag of Askapena, Basque patriotic organization of solidarity with Latin America against historic and modern Spanish repression and explotation. Is one of the organizations most hated by Spanish nationalists that yet remain legal.

Jaume Ollé, 20 Feb 2007

It is a red flag with the logo-lettering of Askapena centered on it, which is the word "Askapena" in black informal hand-writ style capitals, the 1st "A" making up the top tip of a partly green five pointed star, apparently patterned after the Basque flag.

The other two flags are Qulla Suyu and Euskal Presoak Euskal Herrira.

António Martins-Tuválkin, 21 Feb 2007

The "partly green star" is actually a partial star-shaped world map centered on the Atlantic, including both Americas, Europe and Africa – in the party logo, an underlying red star also appears, but on the flag it is not visible against the background.

Eugene Ipavec, 05 Mar 2009

This entity, FWIW, has no mention of either the Basque, Spanish or English Wikipedias. It has a website at, and it is a real organization, not a one-man ghost group.

António Martins-Tuválkin, 05 Mar 2009

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