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ESPAÑA

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Spain and Portugal together make up the Iberian Peninsula, the westernmost of the three major peninsulas of southern Europe. It forms an enormous octagonal promontory at the extreme S.W. of the Continent. It is situated in a temperate zone, lying between 43 47' 24'' N. (Estaca de Bares), and 36 00' 03'' S. (Punta de Tarifa), latitude and between 7 00' 29'' E.(Cabo de Creus), and 5 36' 40' W. (Cabo de Tourinan), longitude. Spain occupies four fifths of the 580,825 square kilometers that make up the total area of the Peninsula. It borders to the north on the Bay of Biscay, France and Andorra, to the east, on the Mediterranean Sea, to the south, on the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, and to the west, on the Atlantic and Portugal.

In relation to many other countries of the world Spain, with its surface area of 505,957 square kilometers, takes up only a small part of the map. In terms of the European continent, however, Spain is the third largest country after the Community of Independent Sates and France.

The above mentioned surface area includes the larger part of the Iberan Peninsula, some 493,486 square kilometers of a total of 580,760 which completed by Portugal, as well as the 4,992 sq. kms. that make up the Balearic Islands lying to the East of the peninsula, and the 7,447 sq. kms. contituted by the Canary Islands, which are found more than 1,000 kms. south of the Peninsula, just off the coast of Africa.

These last form part of the island chain that leads to the Americas via the central Atlantic route. Two Spanish cities in the north of Africa also form part of the nation, Ceuta with 18 sq. kms. and Melilla with 14 kms.

La bandera de España

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The Spanish flag is a red and yellow horizontal triband (the yellow stripe is in the middle, and is twice as tall as each red band). A simplified version of Spain's coat of arms is pictured on the yellow band, towards the hoist side. The height of this flag is two-thirds the width. Spain's flag was officially adopted on December 19, 1981.

The Spanish coat of arms depicts two crown-topped pillars of Hercules (with red banners displaying the motto in Latin, "PLUS ULTRA," meaning "More Beyond," alluding to Columbus' discovery of the New World). The two columns flank a shield that displays a castle, a lion wearing a crown, red and yellow vertical stripes, chain mail, and three fleurs-de-lis in an oval in the center. An ornate red and golden crown sits atop the shield.

Extra Credit:
1. Does the flag of Spain have horizontal or vertical stripes?
____________________________

2. What animal is pictured in the Spanish coat of arms?  ____________________________

3. What type of building is pictured in the Spanish coat of arms. ____________________________

4. When was the Spanish flag officially adopted? ____________________________________