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León (Spain): Autonomist and irredentist movements

Last modified: 2015-01-17 by ivan sache
Keywords: leó | lion | conceyu xoven | irredentism | wheel (yellow) |
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León nationalist movements

Leonese autonomists are seeking the detachment of the Provinces of León, Zamora and Salamanca from the autonomous Community of Castilla y León (which should then change its name) to a separate Autonomous Community), or to the neighbouring and linguistically related Autonomous Community of Asturias.

Asturian-Leonese ethnists are seeking autonomy and/or independence of a territory defined by the current or recent majority of Asturian-Leonese speakers (including far northeastern Portugal but excluding Galician/Portuguese speaking regions in the west of León and Salamanca Provinces).

Leonese irredentists are seeking independence and restoration of the Kingdom of León in its old borders, as it was before the Treaty of Alcañices (1297). This would include north central eastern Portugal. That region (more or less the municipalities of Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo, Pinhel, Almeida, Guarda and Sabugal), has, however, no Asturian-Leonese speakers. Perhaps it never had, since back when the partition was made that was freshly conquered land, populated mainly by Arabic, Berber or Mozarab speakers. Oddly enough, irredentists don't seem to claim the Asturian/Leonese-speaking (Mirandese dialect) parts of Portugal (the municipality of Miranda do Douro, the commune of Caçarelhos [municipality of Vimioso], and the villages of Guadramil and Rio d'Onor [municipality of Bragança].

António Martins, 23 June 1999

Purple banner (Purpurada)


Purple banner of León - Image by Antonio Gutiérrez, 22 March 1999

The León purple flag (photos) has been used from the late 1970s by some political groups, such as Partido Regionalista del País Leonés (PREPAL), Grupo Autonomista Leonés (GAL) and Unión del Pueblo Leonés (UPL), in their struggle for separate autonomy. The shade of purpure often varies, from darker (close to brown) to lighter (nearly pink, like the colour of the lions in the official Castilla y León flag). The flag is today widely used a the León provincial flag.
The claimed connection of this flag with the banners of the old Kingdom of León is not straightforward.

Antonio Gutiérrez, Valentin Poposki & Ivan Sache, 3 July 2009

Adapted medieval flag

Some autonomists prefer to use a grey-silver flag charged with the purpure lion (image), which appears to have been used in the old Kingdom of León in much older times than the purple flag.

Jaume Ollé & Ivan Sache, 4 February 2009

Conceyu Xoven (Youth Council)


Flag of Conceyu Xoven - Image by António Martins, 23 June 1999

Conceyu Xoven (Youth Council), active from 2003 to 2010, was the youth wing of Unión del Pueblo Leonés (UPL). The organization demands the independence of the "Leonese homeland". The flag they propose for this country is red with the Leonese shield in the centre (white with red lion) surmounted by a crown.
The flag of Conceyu Xoven (image), termed "people's flag", is red field with a thin golden circle surrounding a device very similar to the Sun of the Alps (Padania, northern Italy)), also in gold.

António Martins, Jorge Candeias & Ivan Sache, 4 February 2009