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National Police (Spain)

Cuerpo Nacional de Policía

Last modified: 2010-03-20 by eugene ipavec
Keywords: spain | españa | police | coat of arms: quartered (lion: purpure) | coat of arms: quartered (chains: yellow) | banderas | badge | star: eight-pointed |
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[National Police (Spain)] 2:3
image by Jorge Hurtado, Apr 14 2003

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Flag of Spanish National Police is dark blue with emblem.

Jaume Ollé, 25 Jun 2001

Luis Miguel Arias Pérez reports that the flag of the Spanish National Police ("Cuerpo Nacional de Policía") appeared in a photograph in the sports newspaper "As" on 12th instant, and is exactly as was reported in Gaceta de Banderas [gdb] of July 2000.

Santiago Dotor, 14 Apr 2003

Is the similarity to British police badges coincidence?

Nathan Lamm, 14 Apr 2003

Is that form of police badge, almost universally used, British in origin?

Santiago Dotor, 15 Apr 2003

I wouldn't call it "universal," but it seems quite likely that the eight-pointed police star is of British origin. More than two centuries ago, the British Army put such stars onto its headgears. At first it was the (Order of the) Garter Star for the Guards regiments only, but by 1870 most cavalry regiments and many infantry regiments had their own stars. It was about the same time that the pith helmet was introduced to the British Army (black, white or khaki) and to the police forces (black, still worn today... but the 21st Century 'bobbies' hate it). Thus the police followed the Army's practice of putting stars onto the pith helmets. Outside Britain, such stars were worn almost exclusively by Guards regiments, so the continental Europeans didn't spread the use of the eight-pointed star, but the Britons did. Not all Commonwealth police forces use such stars. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the NZ Police don't. In Australia, only the Tasmanian Police does (curiously, it's also the only state to also wear the badge on the chest, American-style). Victoria and Western Australia use 'upside-down' five-pointed stars surrounded by wreaths. New South Wales, South Australia and the Northern Territory use wreaths only. Queensland has a Maltese Cross placed upon the wreath. the Australian Federal Police has the seven-pointed Federation Star on the wreath. I would categorize most police badges six categories:

  • Wreath – probably of British origin;
  • Eight-pointed (or more, or less) multi-rayed star – of British origin;
  • Five, six or seven-pointed plain stars – of USA origin;
  • Flaming hand grenade – of French origin;
  • Shield – used in USA, Communist countries, and those in between.
  • Eagle – inspired by USA, but rarely used on its own inside USA itself.

There are exceptions of course, such as Queensland (already mentioned) and the Irish Garda.

Miles Li, 15 Apr 2003

Funnily however a number of non-British and non-Commonwealth countries do – for instance, Spain, Turkey and even the NYPD originally (1845-1857) did. German police corps' appear to prefer a very similar 12-pointed star; such happens with the Federal Frontier Police, the State Police of Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, Lower Saxony, Berlin, Brandenburg, Hamburg, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein and Thuringia. Also, Chile uses a 12-pointed star. The Irish Garda Síochána uses a Celtic wheel with added elements to recall the Metropolitan Police's star. But, all in all, it is most probably correct that the "police star" is of British origin. I still wonder whether the 12-pointed star in German police units has the same origin, though.

Santiago Dotor, 15 Apr 2003

Policia Guardia Civil

Unfortunately the Policia Guardia Civil has no proper flag. I had been informed of this by a guard in Garachico (Tenerife) on 25 April 2008, but I didn't believe it; however according to my own observations in Mallorca in May 2009 I twice noticed that the PGC has in front of its quarters hoisted simply the Spanish national flag.

Also on its patrol boats the Spanish national flag is hoisted upon the stern. On the boat's superstructure there was also the image (no flag) of a quarterly light blue and yellow divided pennant without any badge.

Klaus-Michael Schneider, 05 Jun 2009

This is the international fishery protection pennant. Presumably being painted on the superstructure serves the same purpose as flying it.

Joe McMillan, 06 Jun 2009