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Yecla (Municipality, Region of Murcia, Spain)

Last modified: 2016-04-25 by ivan sache
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Flag of Yecla - Image by Ivan Sache, 11 May 2015

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Presentation of Yecla

The municipality of Yecla (34,130 inhabitants in 2014; municipal website) is the north- easternmost municipality in the Region of Murcia, located on the border with the Valencian Community (Province of Alicante) and Castilla-La Mancha (Province of Albacete), 100 km of Murcia. The municipality is made of the town of Yecla and the village of Raspay.

Yecla was originally settled by farmers who painted rocks in the caves of Los Secos and Monte Arabí (6000-2000 BC). Other sites, such as the shelters of the Cantos de la Visera and the Mediodía cave, as well as the fortified camp of El Arabilejo, date back to the Age of the Bronze (2nd millennium BC). A significant Iberian sanctuary was excavated on the Saints' Hill by Father Carlos Lasalde, who discovered in the late 19th century the Dame of Yecla, shown in the National Museum of Archeology, and another 30 stone statues. In the Roman period, the village excavated in Los Torrejones must have been the center of a big administrative division.
Yecla was established at the end of the 11th century, when the Caliphate was succeeded by independent kingdoms (taifas). The Arab sources of the time mention the hisn (citadel) of Yakka, of significance during the Almohad rule.

The Christian settlers established a new town on the northern slope of the hill. The town experienced its first demographic increase when ruled by Infante Juan Manuel. The economical progress of the town was stopped only in the 17th century. Deforestation, colonization and conquest of most the municipal territory caused the boom of Yecla in the 18th century. The town, totally reorganized, counted up to 10,000 inhabitants.
In the 1920s, the traditional activities of the town, mostly cooperage and carpentry, were replaced by furniture industry. The worker's cooperative Esteban Díaz was established in the 1950s. The Yecla Furniture Fair was the first of that kind organized in Spain.

Ivan Sache, 11 May 2015

Symbols of Yecla

The flag of Yecla (photo, photo) is white with the municipal coat of arms in the center.

he coat of arms of Yecla is prescribed by Decree No. 770, adopted on 18 March 1976 by the Spanish Government and published on 13 April 1976 in the Spanish official gazette, No. 89, p. 7,458 (text).
The "rehabilitated" coat of arms is described as follows:

Coat of arms: Gules (red) a castle argent masoned and port and windows sable (black) standing on a rock or over waves argent and azure (blue) at the gate of the castle a lion or chained the castle surrounded by two "Y" or. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown closed.

The Royal Academy of History rejected the proposed arms as "not compliant with the rules of heraldry either in the description or the design". The description includes "rocks beaten by the sea", while the Academy already stated that artistic representations should be banned from coat of arms. The motto "MUY LEAL Y FIDELISSIMA", granted to the town on 9 December 1707 by Philip V, should be removed. The Academy proposed the arms eventually adopted; however, the coat of arms in actual use is surrounded by the motto the Academy recommended to drop.
[Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia 1976, 183: 1, 162]

Ivan Sache, 11 May 2015