The Catalan Flag, The Senyera, is thought to be one of the oldest flags of the world. It probably derives from 11th century or 12th century pre-heraldic symbols. In Catalan, senyera is also a synonym of bandera ('flag'), although normally people use the word to refer to the Catalan flag in particular.
The Senyera consists of four red stripes on a golden background. It has represented Crown of Aragon and Count of Barcelona; today it is the flag of the Autonomous Community of Catalonia. In addition, the current official flags of Aragon, the Balearic Islands and the Valencian Community, are based upon this symbol. In Aragon an extra coat-of-arms, in Balearic Islands a castle in the canton, and in Valencia a blue fringe on the hoist.
A legend tells that the four red bars were drawn on Wilfred I the Hairy's (Count of Barcelona) golden shield by king Charles the Bald's fingers drenched with blood from Count's battle wounds.
The plain version of this flag was mainly used since the early 20th century by Catalan nationalists. Later, it has been used as official flag of the Autonomous Community of Catalonia. In its plain version, it is also used in the French Département of Pyrénées-Orientales, part of the former territory of Catalonia. It is also used as the flag of Provence, a region with historic ties to Catalonia.
Regional Flags of Spain