VALENCIA city Guardia Civil have begun removing the last remaining Franco shields from their barracks.

The move comes 13 years after the approval of the national Historic Memory Law, which among many other provisions enforced the removal of all symbols relating to the fascist dictatorship from public buildings.

Of these, by far the most widely recognised is the pre-constitutional shield with the eagle that used to feature on the Spanish flag.

A council worker takes down a street plaque bearing the name of a fascist general

This week, officers at Patraix barracks in Valencia city centre were the first to cover up the emblem with the current official shield, with Benimaclet and Cantarranas in the beach area to follow suit.  

Shields had previously been taken down from schools, churches, and army headquarters, with a horseback statue of Franco himself removed from the Plaza del Ayuntamiento – previously named Plaza del Caudillo – and stored in a warehouse.  

In addition, more than 50 street names have been changed from references to military and political figures of the regime, to being called after important figures of Valencian culture and history.

The most widespread visual reference to the dictatorship still in evidence is the ‘yoke and arrows’ symbol of the Falange party, which remains at the entrance of blocks of council homes throughout the Valencia region that were built back in the day and are still in use. 

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