14th December 2019
White ribbon
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Torra replaces yellow ribbon with white (plus red stripe)

Catalan president Quim Torra has now hung a banner with a white ribbon and the message ‘Free political prisoners and exiles’ from the government headquarters balcony on Thursday, after Spain’s electoral authority ordered him to remove an identical banner with a yellow ribbon.

A symbol of support for jailed and exiled pro-independence leaders, the yellow ribbon was deemed ‘partisan’ and unsuitable for public buildings during election periods.

White ribbon
The new banner displaying a white ribbon with red stripe, replacing the yellow ribbon. (Tim Parfitt)

Torra challenged the electoral authority despite the threat of criminal charges, but eventually backed down after the Catalan ombudsman advised him to comply.

On Thursday morning, Catalan government workers covered the original banner with another showing the exact same message – the only difference is that the ribbon was not yellow, but white, and struck through with a diagonal red stripe.

The red stripe is similar to that used by the pro-independence Òmnium Cultural on many of its banners.

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