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La Cabrera (Municipality, Community of Madrid, Spain)

Last modified: 2019-08-28 by ivan sache
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Flag of La Cabrera - Image by Blas Delgado & Eduardo Panizo, 8 January 2003

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Presentation of La Cabrera

The municipality of La Cabrera (2,590 inhabitants in 2014; 2,240 ha; municipal website) is located in the north of the Community of Madrid, 60 km of Madrid.

La Cabrera was inhabited during the Visigothic period, as evidenced by remains of fortified stone huts, dated to the 5th century, excavated on the top of Cerro de la Cabeza, and a necropolis made of anthropomorphic tombs, discovered close to the road to Valdemanco, dated to the 7th century and locally known as the Moor's Tomb. During the Muslim period, La Cabrera was located in the buffer zone that separate the Moorish and Christian states.
After the Christian reconquest, La Cabrera was incorporated to the Community of the Town and Land of Buitrago. The St. Anthony convent was established in the 12th century by Benedictine monks. The original church, with three naves and five semicircular apses, was increased in the 15th century by Franciscan monks, who erected a tower. The Franciscan revamped the ruined convent in the 1930s, also re-establishing the old irrigation system.

Ivan Sache, 2 July 2015

Symbols of La Cabrera

The flag (photos, photo) of La Cabrera is prescribed by a Decree adopted on 17 January 1991 by the Government of the Community of Madrid and published on 6 March 1991 in the official gazette of the Community of Madrid, No. 55, p. 14 (text) and on 24 April 1991 in the Spanish official gazette, No. 98, p. 12,971 (text).
The flag is described as follows:

Flag: In proportions 2:3, quartered per saltire. 1st and 4th, green with a red bend fimbriated yellow. 2nd and 3rd, yellow with a black rearing goat, the two goats facing each other.
The coat of arms of La Cabrera is prescribed by a Decree adopted on 14 December 1989 by the Government of the Community of Madrid and published on 12 January 1990 in the official gazette of the Community of Madrid, No. 10, p. 17 (text) and on 8 February 1990 in the Spanish official gazette, No. 34, p. 3,905 (text).
The coat of arms is described as follows:

Coat of arms: Per pale, 1. Vert a goat rampant or, 2. Quarterly per saltire, 1. and 4. Vert a bend gules fimbriated or, 2. and 3. Or the motto "AVE MARÍA" in letters sable. The shield surrounded by a crown of lilies with year "1749" on the knot that ties it. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown closed.

The Royal Academy of History pointed out inaccuracy in the sources quoted in the memoir supporting the proposed symbols. Sections of the Academy are mentioned, which are indeed either a collection (Salazar y Castro) or a review (Boletín). Since the Academy does not owe a documentation dedicated to municipal heraldry, the presented facts must have been extracted after a search in scattered sources, which cannot be efficient. However, the Academy validated the proposed arms, which feature the arms of the Dukes of the Infantado, once lords of the place, and a goat [cabra] making the arms canting.
The Academy approved the proposed flag, recalling that the norms for the design of flags are not always firm and coherent. There is no rule prescribing a similar organization for the flag and the arms, and the juxtaposition of colour on colour, unacceptable in heraldry, is not forbidden in vexillology.
[Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia, 1989, 186, 3: 475]

Diego Hurtado de Mendoza y Figueroa (1415/1417-1479), the elder son of Íñigo López de Mendoza, First Marquis of Santillana, was made Duke of the Infantado (full title, "Duque de las Cinco Villas del Estado del Infantado") in 1475; subsequently, the Dukes of the Infantado were made first-rank Grandees of Spain, and were therefore allowed to wear their hat in the presence of the king. Íñigo de Arteaga y Martín (b. 1941) is the 19th Duke of the Infantado.
"Vert a bend gules fimbriated or" are the oldest known arms of Mendoza; subsequently modified several times, the arms always included a red bend on a green field. The arms quartered per saltire were introduced by the first Marquis of Santillana and appear on a seal dated 1440; the marquis quartered his father's arms (Mendoza) with his mother's arms (de la Vega). His descendants were known as Mendoza de Guadalajara or Mendoza de l'Ave María. In the representations of these arms, the first quarter is inscribed with "AVE MARÍA" while the third quarter is inscribed with "PLENA GRATIA" (or, at least "GRATIA").
[José Luis García de Paz (UAM), Los poderosos Mendoza]

Santiago Dotor & Ivan Sache, 2 July 2015