Photo Of The Day: The Fifth International Brigade

Today’s photo of the day was taken from the stands at Celtic Park during the match against Hibernian on Monday night. Among the many flags on show was that of the International Brigades, a tribute to the men and women around the globe who enlisted to fight against fascism during the Spanish Civil War.

Of the Fifth International Brigade volunteers (15th Brigade of the Spanish Republic), many came from Scotland. In total, 134 Scots lost their lives in the fight against Franco’s forces – 65 of whom were from Glasgow. Also in the Spanish Republican ranks, were a number of Irishmen. Although, others in Ireland sadly followed the propaganda of the pulpit to join former Fine Gael leader Eoin O’Duffy in fighting for the fascists.

Politics isn’t for everyone at Celtic Park, but anti-fascism and anti-imperialism plays an important role for a notable section of the support. This stems from the Irish political aspect and the socialist ethos of the club. It is why we hear songs such as Viva La Quinta (later amended to Quince) Brigada at matches:

About Author

Hailing from an Irish background, I grew up in Bournemouth with the good fortune to begin watching Celtic during the Martin O'Neill era. Still living on the south coast, I have a season ticket at Paradise and also travel to European away matches when possible. I have written four Celtic books since the age of 19: Our Stories & Our Songs: The Celtic Support, Take Me To Your Paradise: A History Of Celtic-Related Incidents & Events, Walfrid & The Bould Bhoys: Celtic's Founding Fathers, First Season & Early Stars, and The Holy Grounds of Glasgow Celtic: A Guide To Celtic Landmarks & Sites Of Interest. These were/are sold in Waterstones and official Celtic FC stores, and are available on Amazon.


  1. Martin Blackshaw on

    The so-called “Fascism” you speak of in this article was in fact General Franco’s Catholic response to Stalin’s attempt to bring Communism to Spain. Read the book “Catholic Martyrs of the Spanish Civil War” to understand how brutal these Stalinist recruits from various countries were, including the largely anti-Catholic Scottish contingent. Documented stories such as Catholic priests being murdered, stripped naked and hung upside down in a butcher’s window with a sign pinned to him that read “Fresh meat”.

    Or what about the six nuns who had their hair set on fire and were dragged by the feet throught the streets by horses. Or what about the priest who had his teeth smashed in with a brick and his rosary beads forced down his throat until he choked to death.

    Franco on the other hand consecrated Spain to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary and fought vigorously to keep Spain Catholic. He also opened the border to allow many refugee Jews to flee from Nazi occupied territories.

    You people really know nothing about history and are a disgrace to the Catholic Church and her stance against evil atheistic Communism. Stalin paid your “brave boys” from Scotland, America and whatever other nation his “useful idiots” travelled from. All of them had to be anti-Catholic to get into the International Brigades.