The Masked donkey (“Burro Masqué”)
Created in summer 2005 by the Catalan nationalist party in Roussillon, the Bloc Catalá, the donkey known as the”Burro Masqué” was a symbol of the successful opposition to Georges Frêche’s attempt to rename the region La Septimanie. At the time, the Bloc Catalá explained that the donkey was masked because he was “hiding from Georges Frêche, with all his carrots and sticks’.
Represented now by the “Amics du Burro Masqué”, splinter group of the CDC (Convergence Démocratique de Catalogne), the donkey has reared up again in defence of Catalan nationalist issues, this time braying about the star logo on regional number plates, which they declare ‘sans ame’ (without soul) and wish to replace with Catalan colours.
Catalan donkey stickers
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.
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 Catalonians ‘hit back’ by producing their own unofficial national symbol – el burro – a symbol of Catalonian pride!