A bizarre scuffle over flags between regional politicians in Catalonia, the region in north-eastern Spain vying for independence, broke out on Thursday as tensions run high in the region before a key vote on Sunday.
In Barcelona on Thursday, politicians from pro-independence parties in Catalonia and Spain's ruling conservative party tussled over the unfurling of flags outside Barcelona's City Hall in what has been described as a "childish spat."
At a rally of pro-independence supporters gathered outside the city hall, Alfred Bosch and Jordi Coronas of the left-wing, pro-independence Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC) hung an estelada -- the official flag of the separatist movement - from the city hall's balcony.
The act immediately provoked Alberto Fernández Díaz, from the conservative Popular Party of Catalonia (PPC) -- an affiliate of Spain's ruling People's Party -- to try to hang the Spanish flag to the jeers of the crowd watching the tussle. He refused to move his flag until both were removed.