When police ordered a local mayor in southern Spain to take down a rainbow flag put up to celebrate gay pride on Friday because it was illegal, more than 300 households in the village rallied to the cause and flew their own flags.
By the time gay pride celebrations took place in Spain on Sunday, the Andalusian village of Villanueva de Algaidas near Malaga was awash with flags hanging from balconies, windows and even a bar in solidarity.
Juan Civico, mayor of the village of 4,000 inhabitants, only found out it was illegal for authorities to fly the flag after three residents complained about the one he had put up.
Civico said the local government was bound by a recent ruling by the Spanish Supreme Court that only official flags, of Spain, its regions or the European Union, can be flown from council buildings.
“After the complaints, we studied what we had to do. We saw that under the law we had to remove the flag. But the people can put what they like on their balconies,” said Civico.