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Spain: Commemoration flags

Last modified: 2021-05-18 by ivan sache
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Fifth Centenary of the First Circuit of the Globe


Flag of the Fifth Centenary of the First Circuit of the Globe - Image by Ivan Sache, 5 May 2021

The National Commission for the commemoration of the 5th Centenary of the expedition of the first circuit of the globe by Ferdinand Magellan (Portuguese, Fernão de Magalhães; Spanish, Fernando de Magallanes) and Juan Sebastián Elcano (Comisión Nacional para la conmemoración del V Centenario de la expedición de la primera vuelta al mundo de Fernando de Magallanes y Juan Sebastián Elcano) was prescribed by Royal Decree No. 582, issued on 12 June 2017 and published on 6 July 2017 in the Spanish official gazette, No. 160, pp. 57,241-57,246 (text).

The Preamble of the Decree recalls the historical context of the commemorated event. The naval expedition was promoted by the Spanish crown and initially led by Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese seaman in the service of the Spanish crown, aimed at opening a new route to the Spice Islands. Named by young king Charles I of Spain "Governor, Admiral, Captain General of the Army for the discovery of spices", Magellan left Seville on 10 August 1519 in the morning, commanding five vessels and 265 me,, of which 64% were Spaniards and the remaining scattered among nine nationalities. The expedition turned three years later in the completion of the first circuit of the globe, thanks to the audacity, the valor, the navigation skills and the vision of Juan Sebasti├ín Elcano, a seaman born in Guetaria (Guipúzcoa), who returned to Seville on 6 September 1522.
The circuit went from Sanlúcar de Barrameda to Tenerife, the coast of Sierra Leone, Rio de Janeiro, River Plate, Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego, the Straits subsequently named for the Captain General, the Pacific Ocean and Mariana Islands, the Philippines, Sumatra and Maluku Islands, the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Verde Islands.

The most important and only complete record of the expedition was produced by Antonio Pigafetta, an Italian nobleman born in Vicenza in 1480 / 1481 and deceased in the same place before 1534, aka Antonio Lombardo or Antonio de Plegafetis. Pigafetta settled in Spain in 1518 as a Knight of Rhodes in the service of the pope's ambassador, Francisco Chieregati. He became a close friend of Magellan, who enrolled him to the expedition without specific duty. After the expedition's return, he traveled to Lisbon, France, Mantova, Rome and Venice to promote his record. Back to Italy in 1523, he fell out with Elcano and decided to minimize his role, awarding all the outcomes of the expedition to Magellan. The Relazioni in torno al primo viaggio di circumnavigazione. Notizia del Mondo Nuovo con le figure dei paesi scoperti (Record of the first circuit of circumnavigation. Notice on the New World with a description of the discovered countries), dedicated to Philippe de Villiers, Gran Master of the Order of Rhodes, was published posthumously in 1536.
[Commemoration website]

The flag of the Fifth Centenary of the First Circuit of the Globe (photo, photo, photo, photo, photo, photo, photo, awarded to bodies actively involved in the commemoration, is red with the event's logo, in its "reduced version" (without text).
The logo, designed by Husmee Studio, from Donostia, is shaped like numeral "500", but also like the Victoria, the only ship of the expedition that could returned to Spain. The hyphen represents the ship's maintop, while the semi-circles represent its three main sails. The writing represents the ship's hull. The logo represents movement and navigation's dynamism.
[Gráffica, 13 February 2018]

Ivan Sache, 5 May 2021