CATALANS have won an appeal against a decision by Spanish authorities to ban the Estelada during tomorrow’s Copa Del Rey cup final at the Vicente Calderon Stadium in Madrid.

Barcelona and Sevilla could have been greeted by thousands of Saltires after Catalan nationalists revealed plans to distribute them outside the stadium following the veto on their own symbol of nationalism.

They are now urging fans to turn out in their droves with the Estelada to celebrate the victory.

Liz Castro, chairwoman of the international committee of the Catalan National Assembly, told The National she was delighted with the ruling and added: “We are happy. The stadium will be filled with Catalan independence flags. And I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few Saltires as well.”

The assembly, along with Omnium Cultural, legal association DRETS and the Platform for Catalan Sports Teams, were planning to distribute the Scottish flags to highlight “the different treatment that Catalonia receives from Spain, compared with the UK Government’s treatment of Scotland”.

In a joint statement issued on the Platform website, the civic organisations said: “We welcome the decision of the court, which has applied common sense and rescinded the prohibition by the delegation of the Spanish government in Madrid, considering that the Estelada does not incite violence, racism, xenophobia or any other form of discrimination.

“For this reason, we will annul the allocation of Scottish flags and focus on an appeal to the fans on Sunday to fill your section of the Vicente Calderon with the Estelada.

“This is the best way to celebrate the victory of freedom of expression, to demonstrate peacefully the Estelada symbol that identifies us, and will be a good response to those who restrict freedom.”

FC Barcelona welcomed the ruling and said in a statement: “The club celebrates that the judge’s decision will allow the free expression of legal symbols and banners by its members and supporters.

"At the same time, FC Barcelona expresses its concern about the reoccurrence of situations like the one on Wednesday, which are an affront to the freedom of expression, and do nothing to benefit what has always been a celebration of football.”

The decision to ban the Estelada had been taken by the Spanish government delegate to Catalonia Concepcion Dancausa, who said it would trigger safety fears. Catalonia, in north-eastern Spain, is highly industrialised and is one of the country’s richest regions. It has a distinct language and culture which was suppressed during the 1939-1975 military dictatorship of General Francisco Franco.

It identifies closely with Scotland and has seen a recent surge in independence sentiment after Spain’s highest court struck down key parts of a charter that would have granted it more autonomy and recognised it as a nation within Spain.

Central government has repeatedly quashed moves for an independence referendum, maintaining that it would be unconstitutional, and has made it clear it will use all legal methods to prevent the independence of Catalonia, which accounts for nearly a fifth of Spain’s economic output.

Catalonia’s pro-independence parties won a parliamentary majority in a September regional election, and have pledged to introduce an 18-month roadmap for independence from Spain by 2017.

This is not the first time the Estelada flag has been banned.

Just last year, the Catalan club was fined €30,000 (£23,000) by Uefa after its fans breached article 16 and waved pro-Catalan independence flags during a Champions League final against Juventus in Berlin.