Union Jack Steps – Gibraltar - Atlas Obscura

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Union Jack Steps

Red, white, and blue painted steps along with a Union Jack celebrate the outcome of Gibraltar's 1967 referendum. 


At the bottom of Devil’s Gap Road lie a series of steps painted in red, and blue, to celebrate the outcome of Gibraltar’s first Sovereign Referendum in 1967. These steps are known locally as the Union Jack or Referendum Steps. Along with simply painted steps in the three colours, the steps also are painted with a Union Jack (the flag of the United Kingdom) as well as a reference to Queen Elizabeth II. 

The referendum on September 10, 1967, asked citizens of Gibraltar whether they wanted to have Spanish sovereignty with Gibraltarians keeping their British citizenship or to remain under British sovereignty and self-governance.  The result of the referendum was unequivocally (99.6 percent) in favour of remaining British. The steps were painted soon after the referendum and Gibraltar National Day has been celebrated annually on September 10th every year since 1992 to commemorate the first referendum. Volunteers regularly paint the steps to maintain their color.

The steps lie on the quickest route from the city centre to the Upper Rock Nature Reserve. They are easily missed if taking the route back down from the rock to the city center, so are best viewed by climbing up.

Know Before You Go

The steps are located on Devil's Gap Road between Flat Bastion Road to the south and Baca's Passage to the north.  

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July 28, 2021

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