Court prohibits Estelada flags in public dependencies

The High Court of Justice of Catalonia (TSJC) yesterday handed down a ruling prohibiting the flying of a pro-independence Estalada flag in the plaça Lluís Miret in the town of Sant Cugat del Vallès in an case from 2014. The court maintains that this flag “constitutes a symbol of the pro-independence part of Catalan society represented by certain political parties “and does not have valid legal recognition as an” official symbol of any territorial administration“, and as such it is obvious that its use ”can only be described as partisan.” In this way, the court dismissed an appeal by the Sant Cugat Town Council against a court decision from 2016, which forced the Council to withdraw the flag following a complaint by Societat Civil Catalana (SCC).

The ruling also states that the display of any “element” that “represents a political option in a “public dependency ” is illegal, because it violates the principle of “objectivity” and “institutional neutrality”. The sentence also includes any symbols which represent “only one part of society” and states that popular mandate or plenary decision cannot be cited as substantiation. Official symbols must also be displayed, even though the governing party does not feel that it is identified or represented by them. The ruling can still be taken to the Supreme Court on appeal.

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