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Le drapeau en berne pour Pâques

April 2017

On April 2017, an internal order from the Spanish Ministry of Defence stated that “the national flag shall be flown half-mast in all units, bases, centres and barracks from 2pm on Holy Thursday until 00:01 of Resurrection Sunday”. This included the building of the Ministry itself. This measure, at the edge of the 684/2010 royal decree regulating the use of the half-mast, was already justified by the Ministry of Defense both in 2013 and 2014 alluding to the respect to the freedom of religion and the existence of secular traditions of the army that do not clash with the law. For example, in a response to a parliamentary inquire by the Socialist Party in 2014, the PP government affirmed that “The half-mast flying of the national flag at certain dates is part of the secular tradition of the armies and is integrated into the normality of the acts of internal regime that are celebrated in the military units” (El País, 15.04.2017, referring to Granada Hoy, 29.07.2014). Drawing on a judgement from the Constitutional Court, the government added that “When a religious tradition is integrated into the social fabric of a particular group, it cannot be maintained that, through it, public authorities intend to transmit support or adherence to religious postulates".

The measure has sparked debate on the illegal character of the use of a national symbol as a sign of mourning and commemoration of the death of Jesus-Christ during the celebrations of Easter. The main party in the opposition, the Socialist Party, has asked the Minister of Defence to account for the decision (see more in El Paìs and El Diario).

26 avril 2017