Festivities in Madrid were almost marred by a disaster as a parachutist carrying the national flag misjudged his landing.
As part of the Día de la Hispanidad national holiday a military parade and Spanish Air Force flyby that was to culminate in parachutists dropping a flag on the national mall.
It was up to Corporal Luis Fernando Pozo to pull off the stunt in front of national television and a crowd that included King Felipe and the Spanish royal family.
No pressure then.
At the last moment Pozo's parachute snagged on a lamppost on his way back to earth, his helmet apparently colliding with the metal pole.
The paratrooper and professional soldier had conducted over 600 successful jumps but it had to be this one that would go wrong.
The corporal was stuck suspended from the post for an agonising moment, while a vehicle was scrambled to rescue the stricken soldier and the flag.
The crowd including the royal family applauded his rescue. After its careful retrieval, the flag was eventually presented to the king and raised.
Fortunately no one seems to have been seriously hurt in the incident beyond the pride of military man Pozo.
Later the parachutist met with the king for inspection as part of the parade. Queen Letizia and daughters Princess Leonor and Princess Sofia had an audience with the soldier to praise his bravery. In the dramatic moment captured on national television Luis Fernando Pozo become an instant sensation for twitter and the Spanish press.
Over the weekend the hashtag #LuisFernandoPozo was trending on twitter with messages of support for the embarrassed soldier.
"If we fall we get up! You are the pride of Spain" wrote @punto.twit.
Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez also took to twitter to blame windy conditions for upsetting Pozo's parachute: "We're thankful it's just been a simple scare."
The Spanish national day commemorates Christopher Columbus's first arrival in the Americas and is a holiday in Spain and a number of other Spanish-speaking countries.