You may already know that the donkey is the symbol of Catalonia, French and Spanish, whilst the bull is the unofficial national symbol of Spain, but do you know how it all started?


The whole thing actually goes back to the Osborne sherry company who put up large black silhouetted images of a bull in semi-profile to advertise their sherry on sites near to major roads throughout Spain.


When a law was passed in the 1990s prohibiting such advertising, the bull was already nationally famous, so it was agreed that the bulls would remain, but the name Osbourne would be removed.

There are now nearly one hundred examples of the Osborne bull advertisements, often sited on a low hilltop so as to be clearly silhouetted against the sky, but only two still bear the word Osborne – one being at the Jerez de la Frontera airport in Cadiz, and the other in the nearby town of El Puerto de Santa Maria, where Osborne headquarters are found.


Car stickers and T shirts of the Osborne bull were by now all over Spain – a symbol of Spanish pride – so the Catalans ‘hit back’ by producing their own unofficial national symbol – el burro – a symbol of Catalonian pride!

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