Homage to FC Barcelona

The fires of separatism in Spain are reaching even more insane heights. The Spanish government has just tried to ban the 'Estelada' -- the separatist national flag of Catalonia -- from the next soccer Copa del Rey (King's Cup) match.  The Spanish government is doing its best to dampen a resurgent Catalan nationalism. While Britain ponders exiting the European Union, it seems Catalonia ponders exiting Spain, again.

After winning a parliamentary majority in a regional election in Catalonia in September, the pro-independence parties vowed to implement an 18-month roadmap for independence from Spain by 2017.  -- The Local

Talk like that once led to the Spanish Civil War and Franco's dictatorship.  So the Madrid national government was been rather careful to keep the lid on any expressions of separatism.

At the forefront of such nationalism is FC Barcelona: Futbol Club Barcelona, affectionately called Barça. (Catalan/Spanish for the ship/barque).  I do not give a whit about soccer, but I know that FC Barcelona is probably the most famous, and successful, soccer team on the planet.  Certainly, on any top five list. In my web browsing over the years, I have never ceased to be amazed when some Arab or South American writes a tweet that FC Barcelona is their favorite team. Imagine a Lebanese rooting for the Montreal Canadiens, or a Greek rooting for the Boston Red Sox.

When Catalan nationalism attaches to the fans, it gives Catalan separatism an international legitimacy that must terrify Madrid.  In 1943, Franco's director of state security knew this; and rigged a game, by intimidation, so that FC Barcelona (Barça) would lose, thereby humiliating the Catalans.

Flying the Estelada at the Copa del Rey would be an act of defiance broadcast to a worldwide audience.

These games are more than sports.   Catalonia and the Basque country -- which supports Athletic Bilbao -- both field soccer teams where expressions of secession are common. The Catalans and Basque regularly show up at events -- often in support of each other -- to ridicule Spain.  The Basque still remember in 1976, when Athletic Bilbao captain Inaxio Kortabarria, defiantly stormed onto the field with a Basque flag, along with the captain of the opposing, but sympathetic, team, forcing Spain to decriminalize the Basque standard.

The Catalan Estelada, likewise, has a long history, based on Catalan flags going back to the 11th century Senyera flag.  And it has variations:  Socialists have modifed the blue field to yellow, and made the star red. Whatever, the variation, the yellow and red stripes signify a people who do not want to be part of Spain.

The government decree came down that separatist flags would not be allowed during the national match, citing typical bureaucrat-ese reasons.

The police said on Wednesday that the flag known as the 'estelada', favoured by supporters of Catalan independence, would not be allowed into the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid under national laws against violence, racism, homophobia and intolerance in sport. -- Daily Mail

Homophobia?

Make no mistake about it, as bad as America is getting, Europe is still light years ahead of us in politically correct linguistic tyranny.  The real reason is that the Copa del Rey (King's Cup) is a Spanish national championship, deriving its name from the theoretically unifying monarchy. Would not do to have separatist Catalan Esteladas flying.
Inasmuch as most of America's sports are unique to the Western Hemisphere we have no equivalent sporting event here in America, but try to imagine secessionists Southerners flying the Stars and Bars at NY Yankees World Series game with a worldwide audience.

The team has been fined in the past for such displays of patriotism.

[FC Barcelona was] also fined €40,000 in October for supporters bringing the flags to their Champions League game against Bayer Leverkusen ... -- Daily Mail

So, the bureaucrats were preparing to institute the usual insults to all that is humanly decent to prevent another such display.

The government chief in the capital region said that the supporters of finalists Sevilla and Barça will be subjected to a complete body search to prevent the display of "inflammatory symbols" such as the yellow-and-red striped Catalan flag, known as the estelada.

The final “must not be made a scene of political struggle,” said Concepción Dancausa in announcing the special security measures on Wednesday. -- The Telegraph

A complete body search! Perhaps cavity probes of suspected homophobes in gender ambiguous bathrooms were being considered.

Spain’s conservative Popular Party (PP) acting government has argued in the past that the ‘estelada’ should be prohibited in stadiums as it can “provoke a violent reaction in some groups of fans”. -- The Telegraph

Well, the team was furious, and its officials said so. As of the time of this writing, a Spanish court has just overturned the ban, probably in anticipation of widespread defiance.

This is a regularly occurring phenomenon.  When separatist Basque team Athletic Bilbao played separatist Catalan team FC Barcelona, the Spanish had to install amplified audio to drown out the fans of both sides jeering the Spanish anthem.

The problem is deeper. No matter how often Eurocrats try to suppress nationalism, it keeps bubbling up.  Spain is not a unified nation. It is a host of competing nationalities, with different languages, held together by force from Madrid. Two of those peoples: The Basque and the Catalans, are so economically productive that they float the rest of Spain's economy. They detest Madrid and have been vying for independence for over a century.  Franco's greatest fights were in the Basque country and around the Catalans’ Barcelona.  They have not given up.

If the Catalans use legal methods, the Basque have historically been prepared to go further. Behind every Catalan trying secessionist legislation is a potential Basque guerrilla; and Madrid knows it.  Franco's hand picked successor, Prime Minister Carrero Blanco, was killed by an ETA (separatist Basque) squad. 

The USA, which is an agglomeration of intermarried ethnicities, has no comparable imperative.  Our unity is by Constitution and an act of will.  Not so with most people in the Eastern Hemisphere where nationality is genetic. One is born German, or Afghani, or Chinese, where one's ancestors have lived for millennia. Nationalism is inherited down from the misty past. It is inbred.  It is organic.

To understand Spain, imagine Scottish separatism on steroids. Spain is this glorious mix of incompatible peoples held together by a central government that everyone but the bureaucrats, detests.  So is Britain, albeit at a lower level. Spain is the real deal, which is why I find Spain so fascinating, as did Hemingway and Welles.

The Eurocrats are finding out that when the nations were supposedly separated at Babel, the Lord had a good reason for it.  And what God hath rent asunder let no bureaucrat join together.

Being American, I do not follow soccer, but I hope Barça wins the game this Sunday.

Mike Konrad is the pen name of an American who is neither Latin, nor Arab. He runs a website, http://latinarabia.com, where he discusses the subculture of Arabs in Latin America. He wishes his Spanish were better.

The fires of separatism in Spain are reaching even more insane heights. The Spanish government has just tried to ban the 'Estelada' -- the separatist national flag of Catalonia -- from the next soccer Copa del Rey (King's Cup) match.  The Spanish government is doing its best to dampen a resurgent Catalan nationalism. While Britain ponders exiting the European Union, it seems Catalonia ponders exiting Spain, again.

After winning a parliamentary majority in a regional election in Catalonia in September, the pro-independence parties vowed to implement an 18-month roadmap for independence from Spain by 2017.  -- The Local

Talk like that once led to the Spanish Civil War and Franco's dictatorship.  So the Madrid national government was been rather careful to keep the lid on any expressions of separatism.

At the forefront of such nationalism is FC Barcelona: Futbol Club Barcelona, affectionately called Barça. (Catalan/Spanish for the ship/barque).  I do not give a whit about soccer, but I know that FC Barcelona is probably the most famous, and successful, soccer team on the planet.  Certainly, on any top five list. In my web browsing over the years, I have never ceased to be amazed when some Arab or South American writes a tweet that FC Barcelona is their favorite team. Imagine a Lebanese rooting for the Montreal Canadiens, or a Greek rooting for the Boston Red Sox.

When Catalan nationalism attaches to the fans, it gives Catalan separatism an international legitimacy that must terrify Madrid.  In 1943, Franco's director of state security knew this; and rigged a game, by intimidation, so that FC Barcelona (Barça) would lose, thereby humiliating the Catalans.

Flying the Estelada at the Copa del Rey would be an act of defiance broadcast to a worldwide audience.

These games are more than sports.   Catalonia and the Basque country -- which supports Athletic Bilbao -- both field soccer teams where expressions of secession are common. The Catalans and Basque regularly show up at events -- often in support of each other -- to ridicule Spain.  The Basque still remember in 1976, when Athletic Bilbao captain Inaxio Kortabarria, defiantly stormed onto the field with a Basque flag, along with the captain of the opposing, but sympathetic, team, forcing Spain to decriminalize the Basque standard.

The Catalan Estelada, likewise, has a long history, based on Catalan flags going back to the 11th century Senyera flag.  And it has variations:  Socialists have modifed the blue field to yellow, and made the star red. Whatever, the variation, the yellow and red stripes signify a people who do not want to be part of Spain.

The government decree came down that separatist flags would not be allowed during the national match, citing typical bureaucrat-ese reasons.

The police said on Wednesday that the flag known as the 'estelada', favoured by supporters of Catalan independence, would not be allowed into the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid under national laws against violence, racism, homophobia and intolerance in sport. -- Daily Mail

Homophobia?

Make no mistake about it, as bad as America is getting, Europe is still light years ahead of us in politically correct linguistic tyranny.  The real reason is that the Copa del Rey (King's Cup) is a Spanish national championship, deriving its name from the theoretically unifying monarchy. Would not do to have separatist Catalan Esteladas flying.
Inasmuch as most of America's sports are unique to the Western Hemisphere we have no equivalent sporting event here in America, but try to imagine secessionists Southerners flying the Stars and Bars at NY Yankees World Series game with a worldwide audience.

The team has been fined in the past for such displays of patriotism.

[FC Barcelona was] also fined €40,000 in October for supporters bringing the flags to their Champions League game against Bayer Leverkusen ... -- Daily Mail

So, the bureaucrats were preparing to institute the usual insults to all that is humanly decent to prevent another such display.

The government chief in the capital region said that the supporters of finalists Sevilla and Barça will be subjected to a complete body search to prevent the display of "inflammatory symbols" such as the yellow-and-red striped Catalan flag, known as the estelada.

The final “must not be made a scene of political struggle,” said Concepción Dancausa in announcing the special security measures on Wednesday. -- The Telegraph

A complete body search! Perhaps cavity probes of suspected homophobes in gender ambiguous bathrooms were being considered.

Spain’s conservative Popular Party (PP) acting government has argued in the past that the ‘estelada’ should be prohibited in stadiums as it can “provoke a violent reaction in some groups of fans”. -- The Telegraph

Well, the team was furious, and its officials said so. As of the time of this writing, a Spanish court has just overturned the ban, probably in anticipation of widespread defiance.

This is a regularly occurring phenomenon.  When separatist Basque team Athletic Bilbao played separatist Catalan team FC Barcelona, the Spanish had to install amplified audio to drown out the fans of both sides jeering the Spanish anthem.

The problem is deeper. No matter how often Eurocrats try to suppress nationalism, it keeps bubbling up.  Spain is not a unified nation. It is a host of competing nationalities, with different languages, held together by force from Madrid. Two of those peoples: The Basque and the Catalans, are so economically productive that they float the rest of Spain's economy. They detest Madrid and have been vying for independence for over a century.  Franco's greatest fights were in the Basque country and around the Catalans’ Barcelona.  They have not given up.

If the Catalans use legal methods, the Basque have historically been prepared to go further. Behind every Catalan trying secessionist legislation is a potential Basque guerrilla; and Madrid knows it.  Franco's hand picked successor, Prime Minister Carrero Blanco, was killed by an ETA (separatist Basque) squad. 

The USA, which is an agglomeration of intermarried ethnicities, has no comparable imperative.  Our unity is by Constitution and an act of will.  Not so with most people in the Eastern Hemisphere where nationality is genetic. One is born German, or Afghani, or Chinese, where one's ancestors have lived for millennia. Nationalism is inherited down from the misty past. It is inbred.  It is organic.

To understand Spain, imagine Scottish separatism on steroids. Spain is this glorious mix of incompatible peoples held together by a central government that everyone but the bureaucrats, detests.  So is Britain, albeit at a lower level. Spain is the real deal, which is why I find Spain so fascinating, as did Hemingway and Welles.

The Eurocrats are finding out that when the nations were supposedly separated at Babel, the Lord had a good reason for it.  And what God hath rent asunder let no bureaucrat join together.

Being American, I do not follow soccer, but I hope Barça wins the game this Sunday.

Mike Konrad is the pen name of an American who is neither Latin, nor Arab. He runs a website, http://latinarabia.com, where he discusses the subculture of Arabs in Latin America. He wishes his Spanish were better.