The Minister for Defence, Margarita Robles Fernández, presided over the ceremony of solemn flag raising that was held today at “Jardines del Descubrimiento” on Columbus Square, in Madrid, on the occasion of the San Isidro feast day. The minister was accompanied, among other civil and military authorities, by the Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral General Teodoro Esteban López Calderón, the Mayor of Madrid José Luis Martínez-Almeida Navasqüés and the Director-General of the Civil Guard María Gámez Gamez.
This ceremony allow the Armed Forces to pay tribute and express their deepest appreciation to the city of Madrid and return all the affection received during the pandemic and the Filomena storm.
On this occasion, the raising was carried out by the Civil Guard and was attended by the Director-General of the institution, María Gámez, and the Deputy Director of Operations (DAO), Lieutenant General Pablo Salas.
The Honour Guard, totalling 176 troops, was made up of four platoons with command, sapper squad, band and music all from Reserve and Security Group No 1 of the Civil Guard.
The platoons, with 27 members each, belong to the Army 1st Infantry Regiment "Inmemorial del Rey", to the Madrid Marines Group of the Navy, to the Honour Squad of the Air Force Security Group and the Reserve and Security Group No. 1 of the Civil Guard.
The sequence was as follows:
Hoisting the flag ceremony at Columbus Square is held monthly on an ordinary basis. Likewise, on four occasions a year, it is carried out on an extraordinary basis and is called “solemn flag raising”. The first of these four solemn hoists is on May 15, on the occasion of San Isidro Feast Day. The second is on June 19, anniversary of the proclamation of H.M. the King, and is chaired by the President of the General Council of the Judiciary. The third, and for the first time this year, on July 12, coinciding with the anniversary of the Constitutional Court’s starting date and chaired by the president of said Court. On December 6, the Spanish Constitution Day, it takes place the last of the year and is co-chaired by the presidents of the Congress of Deputies and the Senate.
The flag is 300 square meters (21x14) and weighs 35 kilos. It was hoisted for the first time in 2001, when the previous 21-meter flagstaff was replaced by the current 50-meter one. This flagstaff has a rotating head to spin in the same direction as the wind, thus preventing the flag from wrapping around it, which weighs almost 20 tons and it is anchored on a base that rests on four pillars of the Colón underground car park.