This page is part of © FOTW Flags Of The World website

Castilla y León (Autonomous Community, Spain)

Last modified: 2016-06-11 by ivan sache
Keywords: castilla y león |
Links: FOTW homepage | search | disclaimer and copyright | write us | mirrors



[Flag]

Flag of Castilla y León - Image by Antonio Gutiérrez (from SEV website, with permission), 15 November 2005


See also:


Presentation of Castilla y León

The Community of Castilla y León (2,553,301 inhabitants in 2008 - 6th rank among the Spanish autonomous communities; 94,223 sq. km, therefore the biggest autonomous community by its area) is located in the north-west of Spain. The Autonomy Statutes of the Community define its territory as "the modern union of the historical territories that formed and gave their name to the old Kingdoms of Castilla y León".
The Statutes define nine Provinces (Ávila, Burgos, León, Palencia, Salamanca, Segovia, Soria, Valladolid and Zamora) but no capital; the Community's Government and Parliament are located in Valladolid, the biggest town of the Community, while other institutions are located in Burgos (Supreme Court), León (Common Prosecutor), Palencia (Council of Accounting) and Zamora (Consultative Council).

Ivan Sache, 25 March 2011


Origin and meaning of the symbols of Castilla y León

Flag of of Castilla y León

[Flag]

Flag of Castilla y León - Image by Antonio Gutiérrez (from SEV website, with permission), 15 November 2005

The flag of Castilla y León is quartered and includes the symbols of Castilla y León. The flag is similar to the flag of the old Kingdom of Castile [and León].
The flag of Castilla y León has odd proportions, 76:99. The size of the flag seems typical of 19th century ceremonial flags, such as military colors, as does the ratio. I wonder if there was some old, pre-metric specification for such flags that has atavistically survived into the modern metric era.

Joe McMillan, 10 May 2004


Coat of arms of Castilla y León

[Arms]

Banner of Castilla y León - Image by Antonio Gutiérrez (from SEV website, with permission), 15 November 2005

The coat of arms of Castilla y León is a shield surmounted by a Royal crown open, quartered and counter-quartered. The first and fourth quarters: Gules a castle or with three crenellations masoned sable port and windows azure. The second and the third quarters: Argent a lion rampant purpure, langued and armed gules crowned or.

The origin of the arms of Castilla y León is explained on the official website of the Government of Castilla y León.

The legend says that King Pelagius (c. 685-737; the founder of the Kingdom of Asturias and the beginner of the Christian Reconquest) added a lion to his arms after having killed such an animal when prisoner in Córdoba after the Battle of Guadalete (711). The lion arms were subsequently used by Pelagius' successors, that is the Kings of Oviedo and, later, the Kings of León. A more historic explanation presents the lion as canting for the Kingdom of León - which was indeed named for the Roman 7th Legion ("Legio VII") rather than for a lion. The castle is credited to Count Fernán González (c. 910-970), who is said to have added the castle to his arms after the reconquest of Castile and his appointment as hereditary Count of Castile.

Lion and castle arms are not documented before the 12th century, when Kings Alfonso VII "The Emperor" (King of León and Castile, 1136-1557) and Alfonso VIII "The Noble" (King of Castile, 1158-1214) used a lion and a three-towered castle, respectively. The quartered arms were designed by King Ferdinand III "The Saint" (King of Castile, 1217-1252; King of Castilla y León, 1230-1252) after he had unified the two Kingdoms of Castilla y León. Some believe that the lion and castle are of remote Visigothic origin, symbolizing the dual power of the feudal kingdom, represented by the lion, and of the communal bodies, represented by the castle.

Ivan Sache, 25 March 2011


Banner of Castilla y León

[Flag]

Banner of Castilla y León - Image by Antonio Gutiérrez (from SEV website, with permission), 15 November 2005

The Autonomy Status of Castilla y León prescribes two emblems, a flag and a banner (pendón). The banner is based on the one kept in the St. Antolín Collegiate Church in Medina del Campo, dating back to the 16th century. It recalls that the traditional color of Castile was crimson and not purple.

Ivan Sache, 25 March 2011


Legal basis of the symbols of Castilla y León

Prescription of the symbols in the Autonomy Statutes

The flag, banner [pendón] and coat of arms of Castilla y León are most recently prescribed by Article 6 of Constitutional Law No. 14 of 30 November 2007, "Reform of the Autonomy Statutes of Castilla y León", published on 1 December 2007 in the State official gazette, No. 288 (text).
The symbols were first prescribed, in the very same wording, by Constitutional Law No. 4 of 25 February 1983, "Autonomy Statutes of Castilla y León", published on 2 March 1983 in the State official gazette, No. 52 (text). Constitutional Law No. 11 of 24 March 1994, "Reform of the Autonomy Statutes of Castilla y León", published on 25 March 1994 in the State official gazette, No. 11 (text), and Constitutional Law No. 4 of 8 January 1999, "Reform of the Autonomy Statutes of Castilla y León", published on 9 January 1999 in the State official gazette, No. 8 (text), did not change the Articles relevant to the symbols.

1. The symbols of the exclusive identity of the Community of Castile and León are the coat of arms, the flag, the banner [pendón] and the anthem of Castilla y León.
2. The official Community's Day is the 23 April.
3. The coat of arms of Castilla y León is a shield surmounted by a Royal crown open, quartered and counter-quartered. The first and fourth quarters: Gules a castle or with three crenellations masoned sable port and windows azure. The second and the third quarters: Argent a lion rampant purpure, langued and armed gules crowned or.
4. The flag of Castilla y León is quartered and includes the symbols of Castilla y León as described in the previous paragraph. The flag shall be used in all the official buildings and official events of the Community, on the right of the Spanish flag.
5. The banner is made of the quartered coat of arms on a traditional crimson background.
6. Each province and municipality shall keep its traditional flags and emblems.
7. The anthem and the other symbols of the Community of Castile and León shall be regulated by a specific Law.
8. The legal protection of the symbols of Castilla y León is the same as the protection of the symbols of the State.

Ivan Sache, 25 March 2011


Law on the symbols

The symbols of the Community of Castilla y León and their use are prescribed by Decree No. 104, adopted on 13 October 1983 by the Government of Castilla y León and published on 5 December 1983 in the official gazette of Castilla y León, No. 18 (text).

Article 1.
As prescribed in Article 4.1 of the Autonomy Statutes of Castilla y León, adopted by Constitutional Law No. 4 of 25 February 1983, the emblem or coat of arms of Castilla y León is a quartered and counter-quartered shield [crown not mentioned]. The first and fourth quarters: Gules a castle or with three crenellations masoned sable port and windows azure. The second and the third quarters: Argent a lion rampant purpure, langued and armed gules crowned or.
The design of the emblem or coat of arms shall match the characteristics specified in Appendix I of this Decree [not given in the electronic version of the Decree].

Article 2.
As prescribed in Article 4, Paragraphs 2 and 3, of the Autonomous Statutes of Castilla y León, the flag of Castilla y León and the banner are distinctive symbols of the Autonomous Community.

Article 3.
The flag of Castilla y León is quadrangular with the symbols of Castilla y León described in Article 1 of this Decree, matching the technical specifications mentioned in Appendix II of this Decree [not given in the electronic version].

Article 4.
The banner of Castilla y León is made of the quartered coat of arms as described in Article 1 of this Decree, placed on a crimson background, matching the technical specifications mentioned in Appendix II of this Decree.
This symbol of the Community cannot be used simultaneously with the flag of Castilla y León, except in cases provisioned in Article 8.1 of this Decree.

Article 5.
Without prejudice of the precedence of the flag of Spain, the flag of Castilla y León shall be hoisted outdoors and indoors in a preferential place in all civil public buildings belonging to the Government of Castilla y León, as established in Articles 3.1 and 4 of Law No. 39 of 28 October 1981.

Article 6.
When municipalities, governments or other public bodies use their own flag, they shall hoist it together with the flag of Spain and the flag of Castilla y León as established in Articles 3.1 and 4 of Law No. 39 of 28 October 1981 and in the present Decree.

Article 7.
1. When the flag of Castilla y León is used jointly with the flags of Spain and of other bodies, the place of precedence and maximum honor shall be allocated to the Spanish flag.
2. The flag of Castilla y León used on the territory of the Community shall obey the following precedence rules. When the number of flags used is uneven, the flag of Castilla y León shall be placed on the right side of the presidency, if available, or at the viewer's left of the Spanish flag. When the number of flags is even, the flag of Castilla y León shall be placed on the viewer's right of the Spanish flag.
3. The size of the flag or banner of Castilla y León shall not be either larger than the size of the flag of Spain or smaller than the size of the flags of other bodies jointly hoisted.

Article 8.
1. The municipalities or public bodies that do not have a distinctive flag can use as their flag or proper symbols the banner, as prescribed in Article 4 of this Decree. The public bodies that traditionally used the banner can keep using it.
2. In case provisioned in the previous Paragraph, the banner of Castilla y León shall be placed as prescribed in Article 7.

Article 9.
The Presidents of the Government and of the Parliament of Castile and León and the Councillors can used as guidon the guidon [banderín] of Castilla y León when attending official events.

Article 10.
The addition to the flag or to the banner of Castilla y León of symbols or acronyms of political parties, trade unions, associations and private entities is forbidden.

Article 11.
The authorities shall punish breaches of this Decree committed in the territory of the Community of Castilla y León.

Article 12.
Outrages or offends to the flag or to the banner of Castilla y León shall be punished as prescribed in Laws.

Article 13.
The coat of arms of Castilla y León shall be used on:
1. Buildings and bodies of the Autonomous Community.
2. Any means of official diffusion of Autonomous Community publishing the Laws of the Parliament of Castilla y León.
3. Diplomas and titles of all rank awarded by the Autonomous Community.
4. Documents, printed material, seals and headers in official use by the Autonomous Community.
5. Official publications by the Autonomous Community.
6. Insignias used by the President and Councillors of the Government, the Prosecutors of the Parliament of Castilla y León and other authorities of the Castilian-Leónese Community.
7. The items in official use that, because of their representative character, shall bear the emblems of Castilla y León.
8. All the signs of municipal and provincial entities in the Autonomous Community.

Article 14.
1. The municipalities and public bodies of the Community that do not have a recognized official coat of arms can use in their official communications, in cases prescribed in Article 13 of this Decree, the coat of arms of Castilla y León with the name of the municipality added.
2. The agreement shall be approved by the Government of Castile and León.

Article 15.
The coat of arms of Castilla y León shall not be used by public or private entities except in cases prescribed in Articles 13 and 14 of this Decree.

[...]

Decree No. 63, adopted on 20 April 1989 and published on 21 April 1989 in the official gazette of Castilla y León No. 77 (text), "supersedes Appendices I and II of Decree No. 104 of 13 October 1983 regulating the symbols of the Autonomous Community and their use".
The amendment of the original Decree was prompted by the use of symbols different from the official models in their color or design and because those models did not match the "heraldic orthodoxy". Accordingly, the Royal Manufacture of Tapestry was commissioned to design new official symbols.

Article 1.
The design of the emblem or coat of arms shall match the characteristics specified in Appendix 1 of this Decree [not given in the electronic version of the Decree].

Article 2.

The design and colors of the flag and banner of Castilla y León shall match the characteristics specified in Appendix II of this Decree [not given in the electronic version of the Decree].

Transitory provisions
1. The public bodies using the symbols of Castilla y León should update them within three years.
2. The existing symbols shall be kept in buildings registered as Artistic Historical Monuments. They shall also be kept in monuments and buildings of which they constitute a significant part [...]

Unofficial translation by Ivan Sache, 25 March 2011


"León y Castilla" proposal

The León autonomist party UPL (Unión del Pueblo Leonés) has proposed new Statutes for Castilla y León, which would be maintained as an Autonomous Community but with a semantic change to "León y Castilla" (La Crónica de León, 24 October 2005). Article 2 of the Statutes states that the Autonomous Community of León y Castilla shall be made of the two Territories of León (Provinces of León, Zamora and Salamanca) and Castile (Provinces of Ávila, Burgos, Palencia, Segovia, Soria and Valladolid).
The symbols are prescribed in Article 4 of the Statutes as follows:

1. The institutional emblem of the Community of León y Castilla is a shield surmounted by a Royal crown open, quartered by a cross and counterquartered. The first and fourth quarters are argent a lion rampant purple, langued and armed gules and crowned or. The second and third quarters are gules a castle or with three turrets masoned sable port and windows azure [logically, this proposed emblem of León y Castilla swaps the quarters of the current emblem of Castilla y León].
2. The institutional flag of the Community of León y Castilla is quartered with the symbols of León y Castilla as described in the previous pragraph [logically, this proposed flag of León y Castilla swaps the quarters of the current flag of Castilla y León].
3. The institutional banner shall be hoisted only on the buildings housing the official seats of the Community.
4. Similarly, each of the two Territories of León and Castilla shall have their respective official banners, which shall be hoisted on all the official buildings located on their respective territories.
5. The local entities may use their own emblems and flags.

Ivan Sache, 4 February 2009