Introduction

Visual Index (Entire Poster Collection)

Catalogue

Chronology of the War

Acknowledgements

Lists of References

Afterword: Herbert R. Southworth Collection


 

Hablar de la Falange es nombrar a España. Unidad, unidad, unidad

[To speak of the Falange is to speak of Spain. Unity, unity, unity.]. . F.E.T. y de las J.O.N.S. Lithograph, 3 colors; 70 x 60 cm.

While most of the posters in this exhibit are from Republican Spain, this poster is from Nationalist Spain. The predominant theme in this poster is, obviously, unity. A Falange soldier stands between two flags. The flag on the left, with the traditional red and yellow stripes, represents Nationalist and monarchist Spain. The one on the right, with the revolutionary colors black and red, represents Republican Spain and its various revolutionary groups. The flags almost touch each other behind the soldier in a strong representation of the power of the Falange to bring unity to Spain. Yet, there are no illusions in this image. It is significant that a soldier is holding the two flags in that it serves as recognition that military force seems to be the only way to bring about a unified Spain.

The Falange was an extreme nationalist movement formed in Madrid in October 1933 by José Antonio Primo de Rivera. Shortly after its formation, the Falange merged with the Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional-Sindicalist (JONS) and expanded its name to Falange Española de las JONS. In 1934, the new Falange laid out its main principles in a twenty-seven point program that stressed Spanish unity, strong government, an incorporated state national syndical system, nationalization of banks and credit, military strength, traditionalism, and imperial expansion. In opposition to the socialist or Marxist revolutions, the Falange declared its support for the "national revolution" and, initially, identified itself as a fascist movement. As the term fascism became increasingly associated with foreign movements, the Falange distanced itself from the label in order to further its nationalist agenda.

When the Popular Front, a political coalition of socialists, communists and republicans, won the February 1936 elections, the Falange had only 10,000 members. The organization would grow significantly during the war. At the moment of the initial uprisings of Franco and other generals throughout Spain, Falange leaders pledged their support for the Nationalist insurgents. Between 1937-1939, over 250,000 volunteers served in Falange military units with many serving in Falange civilian units in the rearguard. In April 1937, Franco seized control of the organization, merged it with the Carlists, and renamed it Falange Española Traditionalista (FET) or the FET de las JONS (as listed on the poster). Consequently, the FET was elevated to the status of official state party.

It is clear that the FET de las JONS produced this poster as evidenced by the yoke and arrows - a common symbol of the organization. The artist is unknown.

 
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