Hundreds of thousands of supporters of a unified Spain filled Barcelona’s streets on Sunday in one of the biggest shows of force yet by the so-called silent majority that has watched as regional political leaders push for Catalan independence.

Polls and recent elections have shown that about half the electorate in the wealthy northeastern region, which is already autonomous, oppose secession from Spain, but a vocal independence movement has brought the current crisis to a head.

Waving thousands of Spanish flags and singing “Viva España”, protesters on Sunday turned out in the largest display of support for a united Spain since the beginning of the crisis — underlining the depth of division in Catalonia itself.