Residents of a northern Spanish town have slammed their local politicians for their “tacky” use of the Jersey flag on social media in the absence of their own emoji.
Prominent members of the Partido Popular (PP) – Spain’s ruling conservative party – from Basque town Vitoria-Gasteiz started using the flag across Facebook and Twitter as part of their social media engagement.
At first locals simply denounced the move for being “tacky”, but now they’re highlighting the irony of a party plagued by tax haven-related scandals championing Jersey’s flag to promote itself online.
Above: Former Vitoria-Gasteiz MP and PP spokesperson Leticia Comerón is a prolific user of the Jersey flag on social media.
“Those who started using the emoji were people from the Partido Popular… The PP, which governed Vitoria-Gasteiz from 2011 to 2015, placed a lot of importance on the Vitoria-Gasteiz flag and, amongst other things, erected in 2014 a big city flag in the centre,” Ignacio Gatón, Editor of local newspaper Gasteiz Hoy, told Express.
“In emoji language, there’s no option for a Vitoria-Gasteiz flag so it occurred to someone on Twitter (I don’t know who) that the Jersey flag could be used as if it was Vitoria-Gasteiz’s.”
Based on the St Andrew’s cross, Jersey and Vitoria-Gasteiz’s flags bear a resemblance, but are not entirely alike. While Jersey’s red saltire is surmounted by a yellow Plantagenet Crown, the flag of Vitoria-Gasteiz places the city’s shield at the centre of the cross.
Above: A tweet from the Partido Popular's local Twitter page featuring the Jersey flag.
But the differences weren’t enough to stop some local businesses hopping on board the Jersey flag initiative.
Not all residents were best pleased with having their area linked with the Island, however. Just last year, prominent PP politician and former Minister of Industry, Energy and Tourism, José Manuel Soria was forced to resign after it was discovered that he had operated a network of companies based in Jersey.
One Twitter user wrote: “The local PP use the flag of tax haven (Jersey) as if it was Gasteiz’s flag. Are they trying to tell us something?”
En el PP vitoriano usan la bandera de un paraíso fiscal (Jersey ) como si fuese la bandera de Gasteiz. Alguien quiere confesarnos algo? pic.twitter.com/L9Phc93V58— (@logela) October 30, 2016
Above: One local user hits out at PP spokesperson, Leticia Comerón, for her use of the Jersey flag online.
Another added: “The fact that members of the PP are using Jersey’s (tax haven) flag as if it was Vitoria’s is ironic at the very least.”
Despite criticism, the party has continued to use Jersey’s flag across their social media profiles, and it is unclear whether this will continue to be the case in future.