On This Day...

Sometime during the night of 11th August 1936, at km4 on the road from Sevilla to Carmona, Francoist forces summarily executed Blas Infante Pérez de Vargas. This is a name unknown to most non-Spaniards, and I suspect to the majority of Spaniards not from Andalucía. Within Andalucía, on the other hand his name is so widely known that he is referred to simply as Blas Infante. A politician, writer and notary, he is considered to be the father of Andalucían nationalism (La Patria Andaluza). He designed the flag and coat of arms still used today by the autonomous community of Andalucía, and inspired the Andalucían anthem. His vision was not independence for the region, but recognition on an equal footing with other , more favoured regions. Today Spain is divided for regional government purposes into seventeen autonomous communities, of which Andalucía is the largest. It covers an area greater than that of Wales and Scotland combined, and even today feels as do those countries that it is remote from the central government and of little interest to the politicians in Madrid. To give an example or two of the disadvantage under which the region still struggles, unemployment in general and among young people in particular is the highest in Spain and on a par with levels in Greece. Also, figures show that health care professionals at all levels in Spain are paid less than in any of the other major EU countries; health care professionals in Andalucía are the lowest paid in Spain. The new democratic constitution which followed the death of Franco offered the opportunity for historic regions to be granted the status of ‘communidad autónoma’, with many powers devolved from Madrid. Andalucía was among the first to apply for autonomous status and is proud to have been the first to receive it. Even now, though, nearly forty years later the region continues to battle for an equitable treatment by the Madrid government. From abroad dissatisfaction is most often associated with Basque and more recently Catalan nationalism; the nationalism in our communidad is no less genuine but unlike the other two it is a nationalism which seeks expression within the Spanish nation, not as an independence movement. The dream continues and so at ten o’clock this evening, Andalucistas in Frigiliana will gather at the flag in the Parque de Andalucía to remember and respect the memory of Blas Infante. Andalucistas in cities, towns and villages across Andalucía will be doing likewise.


  1. Replies
    1. This was at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War and he was a high profile activist on the wrong side. Local vigilante and militia groups on both sides took the law into their own hands and over the whole four years there were many atrocities committed. Federico Garcia Lorca, the surrealist poet was assassinated around the same time; his crime was not just to be on the Republican side, but also openly gay.