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Pedro Bernardo (Municipality, Castilla y León, Spain)

Last modified: 2019-09-16 by ivan sache
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Flag of Pedro Bernardo - Image by Ivan Sache, 16 January 2011

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Presentation of Pedro Bernardo

The municipality of Pedro Bernardo (1,017 inhabitants in 2009; 1,977 ha; municipal website) is located in the south of Ávila Province, 110 km of Ávila.

Pedro Bernardo was founded around 1100, as Nava la Solana, by Blasco Jimeno "El Grande" (d. 1120), from Ávila. From 1399 onwards, a second wave of colonists came from the Leonese mountains, asking the same rights as the early colonists, to no avail. The local tradition says that the village was renamed Pedro Bernardo in 1499 by its lord, Beltrán de la Cueva, for Pedro Fernández and Bernardo Manso, the leaders of two struggling communities. The historian Juan Antonio Chavarría recently debunked this nice local legend, showing that a place called Pedro Bernardo was already listed in the Libro de la Montería, the list of the Royal possessions in the Tiétar valley, released in 1348.
Depending for centuries of the village of Mombeltrán, the villagers of Pedro Bernardo asked for their municipal independence, which was granted on 14 October 1679 by King Charles II.

Pedro Bernardo is the birth place of the physician Arturo Duperier (1896-1959), who did most of his research on cosmic rays at the University of Manchester; back to Spain in 1953, Duperier was not allowed to bring back experimental material from England and could only give theoretical classes.

Ivan Sache, 15 January 2011

Symbols of Pedro Bernardo

The flag and arms of Pedro Bernardo are prescribed by a Decree adopted on 8 April 2002 by the Municipal Council, signed on 15 January 2003 by the Mayor, and published on 10 February 2003 in the official gazette of Castilla y León, No. 27, p. 2,241 (text).
The symbols are described as follows:

Flag: Rectangular flag in proportions 2:3, made of three stripes, the upper stripe red, the central stripe white with the municipal coat of arms, and the lower stripe green. The respective proportions of the stripes are 1:4, 2:4 and 1:4.
Coat of arms: Square with the lower corners rounded off and a point in the middle of the lower side, vertically divided into two fields, dexter azure and sinister vert, surrounded by a bordure gules fimbriated or charged with the writing "Villa de Pedro Bernardo Ávila"; in the dexter, azure field, in canton is placed the coat of arms of Castilla y León, in the dexter part of the field is a small goat, in base of the field is a men's face, the monogram of Pedro ["P"] and a horn. In the sinister, vert field, in canton is placed the coat of arms of Castilla y León, in the sinister part of the field another goat, bigger than the previous one; in base of the field is a men's face bigger than the previous one and the monogram of Bernardo ["B"].In the center of the chief, overlapping the two fields is placed the Cross of <Calatrava, in the middle of the base is placed a "Y". The shield is surmounted with a Royal crown.

The municipal symbols were designed by the Foro de Pedro Bernardo local association (website).
The dexter part of the arms represents the first wave of settlement of the place. The goat recalls that the descendants of the founder of the village were mostly shepherds. The man's face and the "P" stand for the Pedro lineage. The horn was used by the shepherds to drink and to send acoustic signals.
The sinister part of the shield represents the second wave of settlement of the place. The goat has the same meaning as previously. The man's face and the "B" stand for the Bernardo lineage.
In the middle, the "Y" recalls that Pedro and (y) Bernardo lineages had the same status.

On the flag, the red color, recalling the bordure of the arms, is the color of fire, which destroyed the village so many times [the last big blazes occurred in 1986 and 2000]. The white color, recalling the flag and arms of Castilla y León, represents purity. The green color, recalling the sinister field of the arms and the natural environment of the village (forests), represents life and hope.

Ivan Sache, 15 January 2011