Many have come to associate Valencia with the iconic bat that appears on the Valencia CF crest. While the bat does not feature on the Valencian community flag, elements of the community flag still hold stories to be told.
Right off the bat, here are 3 things to know about the history of the Valencian community flag.
- It has a Senyera
The Senyera refers to 9 alternating stripes of red and yellow, and can be found in several Spanish community flags besides that of Valencia, such as Catalonia and the Balearic Isles. A symbol based on the coat of arms of the Crown of Aragon, the Senyera represents the time when Valencia was under the Kingdom of Aragon’s rule in the 13th century. In fact, the vibrant red-and-yellow Senyera still features in Valencia CF’s crest today.
- Its crown is testament to the Valencians’ undying loyalty
Today, the crown on the flag appears as a golden pattern on the blue bar. Granted by Peter III, the King of Aragorn in 1377, the crown is a symbol of his gratitude to the courageous Valencians who defended their kingdom during the war against Castille.
- It used to have a bat – up till the 19th century
The iconic bat once had a place on the flag, but it was removed along with all heraldic symbols when the flag was simplified. Originally placed above the Crown of Aragon, the bat is the protector of Valencia, symbolising watchfulness. Its place on the original flag is in fact a nod to the bat which brought King James I good luck when he re-conquered Valencia from the Moors in 1238.
Thankfully, the Valencia CF logo retains the symbolic bat, making it one of the most intriguing football club badges to date.