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O Barco de Valldeoras / El Barco de Valldeoras (Galicia, Spain)

Last modified: 2010-10-08 by eugene ipavec
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[Town of O Barco de Valldeoras / El Barco de Valldeoras  (Galicia, Spain)]
N.B.: reconstructed image, no original seen
image by Ivan Sache, 30 Jun 2007



See also:


Introduction

The municipality of O Barco de Valldeoras (Spanish: "El Barco de Valldeoras;" 13,518 inhabitants in 2004; 8,570 ha) is located in eastern Galicia, in the valley of the Sil (330 m asl) surrounded by mountains (1,300 m). Known for its slate quarries and vineyards, O Barco is named after a ferry (in Spanish, "barca de pasaje," lit., passage small boat) set up by the Romans on the Via XVIII, aka Via Nova near the village of Viloira. Valldeoras, the original name of the town, was orignally Val de Giorres, to be related to the Gigurri (fide Pliny) or Egurros (fide Ptolemeus), the inhabitants of the region before the Roman conquest. In the Middle Ages, the village that had developed near the river was protected by a fortified castle, granted to the Counts of Ribadavia as a reward for their contribution to the reconquest of Granada over the Moors. O Barco was mentioned for the first time in a written document in 1578. In 1809, O Barco was the first Galician village to take the arms against the French invaders, under the leadership of the priests of the parishes of Casoyo and Millarouso.

Ivan Sache, 30 Jun 2007

Sources: Unofficial website, Unofficial blogsite


Description

According to "La Voz de Galicia," the Council of the Government (Consello da Xunta) approved by Decree the municipal flag proposed by the Municipality of O Barco. The flag is diagonally divided per bend; the lower part of the flag is red while its upper part is horizontally divided white-sky blue, the blue stripe being twice higher than the white one. The first proposal included the municipal coat of arms in the middle of the flag, which was not retained in the final version of the flag.

Source: "La Voz de Galicia," 25 May 2007

However, the design of the flag was clearly inspired by the municipal coat of arms, which is shown and described on the municipal website. Its official blazon is:

  • Al timbre: Corona Condal de Oro, adornado el círculo de pedrería con piedras rojas y azules alternadas, y realzado con dieciocho perlas de las cuales solamente se verán nueve.
  • En primer cuartel: En campo de sable una Cruz de la Orden de los Hermanos Hospitalarios, o de San Juan de Jerusalén, también llamada Orden de Malta, de plata, resarcetada de oro.
  • En segundo cuartel: El castillo debe ir en oro y campo de gules como símbolo de la nobleza y riqueza del Condado de Ribadavia; indicando, además, que en la citada Villa del Castro radicaba la capitalidad de este término municipal.
  • En cuartel inferior: Barca con remos, en color natural, sirviéndole de fondo el azur con algunas ondas de plata."

Translated as:

  • "Surmounted by a golden Count's coronet, adorned with a circle of gems in turn red and blue and heightened with eighteen pearls, of which only nine are visible.
  • First quarter: on a field sable, a cross of the Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, aka Order of Malta, argent fimbriated or.
  • Second quarter: a castle or on a field gules as a symbol of the nobility and wealth of the County of Ribadavia [...]
  • Lower quarter: a small boat ("barco") with oars proper on a background azure with a few waves argent."

The image of the coat of arms shown on the municipal website does not match this description, the first quarter being gules and the second argent (which matches quite well the flag, therefore the written description of the arms must be erroneous).

Anyway, the cross recalls that the Hospitallers once owned the church of O Barco and lived in the village of Jagoaza, whereas the castle recalls the Counts of Ribadavia, once owners of the town. The small boat in the lower quarter of the shield is canting for the name of the town, and recalls the old ferry that was suppressed only in 1902 when the San Fernando bridge was inaugurated.

There is no image of the flag. Here is the original Spanish text:

"La bandera barquense está dividida en diagonal desde la parte alta del asta. La parte de abajo es en color rojo y la de arriba, dividida en horizontal, con un tercio de color blanco y dos tercios de azul celeste por debajo."

Ivan Sache, 30 Jun 2007

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