Blue-shirted members of Spain's Falangist Party gathered for a midnight ceremony in Madrid last night (19/20 November).
Blue-shirted members of Spain's Falangist Party gathered for a midnight ceremony in Madrid last night (19/20 November). They sang the Falange Hymn, stood with arms raised in the Fascist salute and then marched off through the night to the Valley of the Fallen 30 miles (50 kms) away.
The Falangists gather every November and carry a wreath to the Valley of the Fallen, where a ceremony is held in memory of Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera, the founder of the Falange, who was killed by his opponents in 1936.
Members of this Fascist organisation fought for General Franco in Spain's Civil War and later formed the Blue Division which continued the fight against Communism by joining the Nazi forces on the Russian Front in the Second World War.
In recent years President Franco has gradually been reducing the power of the Falange, although it brought him to power. Many of its members are bitter about his naming of Prince Juan Carlos as his successor and the way he excluded Falangists from the Cabinet he formed last year. Their party has been dissolved officially and integrated with the only political party allowed in Spain, the National Movement.
But the 2,000 or more Spaniards who gathered in Madrid last night, shouting slogans like "Arriba Espana" (Arise, Spain), showed that plenty of the old Falangist fervour still remains.