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Mingorría (Municipality, Castilla y León, Spain)

Last modified: 2017-01-08 by ivan sache
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Flag of Mingorría - Image by Ricardo Gil Turrión, 12 December 2016

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Presentation of Mingorría

The municipality of Mingorría (407 inhabitants in 2015; municipal website) is located 10 km north of Ávila. The municipality is made of the villages of Mingorría and Zorita de los Molinos.

Mingorría was already settled by the Vettones. A zoomorphic sculpture (verraco, aka verraco de piedras, lit., "stone boar", a granite sculpture representing a pig, a boar, a wild boar or a bull, made by the Vettones, a Celtic cattle-herder people. 4th century BC), locally known as the Virgin's Pig, stands close to the chapel of Our Lady of the Rosary (photo). An archeological site dated to the Age of Bronze (2nd century BC) was found close to the old bridge over river Zorita.
The area was resettled in the 11th century by King Alfonso VI. The village is first documented, as Ningorría, on a book of accounts of the Ávila cathedral, dated 1303. The odd name of the village was probably coined by Basque colonists, from two Basque words, mendi, "a mountain / a hill", and gorri, "red".

A local legend claims that the village was established by Basque stone- cutters during the erection of the monastery of San Lorenzo de el Escorial. Here, Mingorría would mean "red disease", referring to an epidemic that suppressed the settlement. The aforementioned historical records debunk this gruesome story.

Ivan Sache, 12 December 2016

Symbols of Mingorría

The flag and arms of Mingorría are prescribed by an Agreement adopted on 7 March 2016 by the Municipal Council, signed on 18 October 2016 by the Mayor and published on 2 November 2016 in the official gazette of Castilla y León, No. 211, pp. 49-414-49,415 (text).
The symbols, which are supported by a memoir written by José María García-Oviedo y Tapia (Escudo y bandera del municipio de Mingorría, 11 February 2016) and were validated on 6 April 2016 by the Chronicler of Arms of Castilla y León, are not described in the Agreement.

The designer of the symbols proposed a set of flags, all in proportions 2:3 and charged in the center with the municipal coat of arms:
- horizontally divided white-blue;
- vertically divided blue-white;
- horizontally divided blue-white-red;
- vertically divided white-red.
The vertically divided blue-white flag was eventually adopted.

The coat of arms is described by its designer as follows:

Coat of arms: Quadrangular shield rounded-off in base, aka shield of Spanish type. Per pale, 1. Gules a gryphon rampant or armed azure crowned with a Marquis' coronet. A bordure with eight saltires or, 2a. Azure St. Peter's keys or and argent, 2b. Argent the Piedra Caballera proper on a base vert. Inescutcheon. Or a St. Michael Apostle trampling the demon all proper. [Crown not mentioned]

The first quarter features the arms of the Peral lineage, Marquis of Legarda and lords of Mingorría until the middle of the 19th century.
The second quarter is a tribute to the town's patron saint.
The third quarter features the municipality's landmark (photo).
The inescutcheon refers to Zorita de los Molinos, featuring its patron saint.

The symbols were validated by the four Municipal Councillors from the majority (PP), while the two Councillors from the opposition (IU) rejected it.
The symbols were deemed esperpento (ugly), not representative either of the history or the idiosyncrasy of the municipality. The arms should include ethnographic, topographic, cultural and social references connected with the history and the most salient traditions of the village, instead of feudal and ecclesiastic references. For instance, the stone quarries, for which the village is famous all over Iberia, are not represented. The zoomorphic sculpture should have been featured as a tribute to the early settlers of the area. The opponents also stated that Zorita de los Molinos is represented in the central part of the shield, while it was never prominent in the municipality; if required, a grain mill would be much more representative of the village.
The selected flag was also criticized because of the use of the blue colour rather than the colours of Castilla y León, lacking the red colour alluded to in the town's name; moreover, the proposals should have been submitted to public vote.
[IU Mingorría Facebook post, 11 March 2016; IU Mingorría press conference, 11 November 2016]

Ivan Sache, 12 December 2016