... but they will never take our FREEDOM!
Barcelona fans to wave Saltires at cup final after Spain bans Catalan flag
Fans of Barcelona will fly Saltires at the Spanish cup final after being banned from displaying a pro-independence Catalan flag.
Supporters of the current La Liga champions have been warned by police in Madrid - where the game takes place on Sunday - that their traditional symbol, the Estelada, is "inflammatory". Police have even said they will search fans as they enter the ground.
So activists have decided to carry Scottish flags instead as a protest. "They can take our flags but they can never take our freedom," says a social media campaign launched on Friday. Campaigners hope to distribute 10,000 Scottish flags to fans attending the game.
The Estelada is not the official flag of Catalonia, which is simply made up of yellow and red stripes. The Estelada has an extra blue triangle with a white corner superimposed on the simple Catalan flag and is carried by supporters of independence for the Iberian nation.
Barcelona is playing Sevilla in the Copa del Rey or King's Cup. The royalist associations of this game - which used to be associated with Spanish dictator Francisco Franco - has long irritated diehard Catalan nationalists and republicans.
Barcelona FC was appalled by the decision to ban the Estelada, saying it was "an attack on the freedom of expression, the fundamental right of each and every individual to express their ideas and opinions freely and without censorship".
The Estelada ban has deep resonance for Barcelona fans and independence supporters. The club was barred from flying the flag during the regime of Francisco Franco before Spain's transition to democracy in the 1970s.
The club Barcelona has long been associated with political and cultural "Catalanismo" - defending and championing the rights of Catalans and Catalan speakers.
Its stadium was shut for six months as long ago as 1925 when fans jeered the Spanish anthem. Later, in 1936, Franco troops shot and killed the club's president.
The King of Spain, Felipe VI, will be at Sunday's game, which is played in his honour. Barcelona fans jeered him at last year's final and whistled when the Spanish national anthem was played.
Spanish authorities say they want to avoid football being politicised.
Catalan nationalists have long contrasted the legalistic response of Spanish authorities to their aspirations for independence to the democratic response of the United Kingdom.
Catalonia has been legally barred from holding a Scottish style independence referendum. The saltire, therefore, has become a symbol of democracy and the right to national self-determination.
Source: Herald Scotland
What is your opinion? Should they be allowed to fly the Estelada?