Friday, May 22, 2009

The Black Bulls of Spain

We spotted a lot of black bulls along the highways of Spain, did a little research and this is what we learned.

The Osborne's black bull in Spain is a silhouetted image of a bull in semi-profile, and is regarded as the unofficial national symbol of Spain. Osborne's black bull was a commercial trade mark of Osborne (producers of sherry and other spirits) but the wide presence of [huge advertisements showing] the bull all across Spanish roads made it a very popular symbol in the Spanish countryside.
However, when Spain outlawed billboards on national roads in the early 1990's, the black bulls were to be taken down. The Spaniards protested, as the lone bull towering along the roadside had become a national symbol. The final resolution was that the black bulls could remain but with no words (Osborne) on them.
The image of the bull is now displayed in stickers and key rings. Also, at sport events where a Spanish team or individual is taking part
The bull has become so closely associated to Spain that Catalan nationalists started a campaign against the only one existing in Catalonia which was repeatedly vandalized and eventually not replaced.

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