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León Province (Castilla y León, Spain)

Last modified: 2014-12-29 by ivan sache
Keywords: león | castile and león |
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[Province flag]         [Flag]

Flag of the León Province
Left, as currently used - Image by "HansenBCN" (Wikimedia Commons), 5 June 2011
Right, as reported in 1999 - Image by Antonio Gutiérrez (VexiLeón website), 15 July 1999

See also:

Presentation of the León Province

The León Province (499,284 inhabitants in 2010; 15,581 sq. km, therefore the biggest province in Castilla y León by its area) is located in the northeast of Castilla y León.

Ivan Sache, 5 June 2011

Symbols of León Province

The flag of the León Province is crimson with the provincial coat of arms in the middle, "Argent a lion purpure arm, langued and crowned or. The shield surmounted with a Royal crown open".
The flag does not seem to be prescribed by a specific text, but is widely used by the Provincial Government. Several photographs available on the website of the Provincial Government show the flag hoisted in meeting rooms, on buildings (photo), or presented to celebrities (photo, photo).
The flag in current use appears to be of a darker shade than reported earlier (1999).

The connection of the flag of León with the banners of the old Kingdom of León is not clear.

The origin of the modern flag of León is indeed unknown. The flag is most probably not as old as usually believed. First, the design of flags with a coat of arms in the middle is a late heraldic tradition. Second, the first description of a banner of that design is credited to Waldo Merino in an act dated 18 February 1789, recorded in Libro de Acuerdos Municipales (Record of Municipal Acts); the town's banner is described as crimson with six escutcheons argent with a lion or. In the 19th century, the banner was renewed for each coronation of a new King, with the number of escutcheons varying. The banner kept today in the Mayor's office, the one mentioned by Merino or a slightly later one, is crimson with a shield bearing a lion rampant in the middle and two smaller escutcheons in the point. This banner must have been used in the 19th century to design the modern Leonese flag.

Ivan Sache, 5 June 2011